Watermelons from the seed to the spoon



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HISTORY OF THE WATERMELON. There has been great controversy over the origin of the watermelon, Citruellus vulgaris, (Bothwell). The culture of the watermelon goes back to prehistoric times, and its origin is African. It was grown by the ancient Egyptions, as revealed by pictures that survive to the present day. Old names in Arabic, Berber, Sanskrit, Spanish and Sardinian are all unrelated, indicating great antiquity of culture in lands about the Mediterranean and east as far as India. The long and general culture of the watermelon from North Africa to middle Asia led to the view that it was of Asiatic origin, although it had never been found wild in Asia or elsewhere. Finally, however, about a hundred years ago the great missionary and explorer, David Livingstone, settled the question of its origin. He found large tracts in Central Africa literally covered with watermelons growing truly wild. In the wild state were both bitter and sweet melons occuring in the same locality and looking alike in appearance. The natives knocked holes in each fruit to taste the juice before taking for food or drink. [...]