Is Watermelon a Fruit or a Vegetable?
Watermelon is a vine-like flowering plant. The fruit of this plant commonly called a watermelon is considered by botanists to be a pepo. A pepo is a berry with a thick rind and a fleshy center.
So, botanically, watermelons are fruits, which are grown in gardens like a vegetable. Because they’re grown like a vegetable and related to the cucumber, squash, and pumpkin, some people think of them as vegetables.
When you bite into a piece of watermelon, you instantly know how it got its name. Each bite of watermelon contains about 92 percent water and 6 percent sugar. Since it consists mostly of water, its name makes perfect sense!
Despite being mostly water with a bit of sugar, watermelon is considered a very healthy snack. Its high water content helps keep you hydrated. Watermelon is also a good source of vitamin C, beta carotene, and lycopene.
You can also eat watermelon rinds. Although many people don’t like their flavor, watermelon rinds are often cooked as a vegetable in China, which produces more watermelons than any other country in the world. The Chinese stir-fry, stew, and even pickle watermelon rinds.
If you ever visit Japan, you might not recognize watermelons if you’re looking for large, round melons. Japanese farmers have developed ways to grow watermelons shaped like cubes. In addition to being unique, square watermelons turn out to be much easier to stack.
One of the other famous parts of the watermelon is its seeds. They’re used hundreds of times every year during watermelon seed-spitting contests.
No one knows for sure how such interesting competitions got started, but they have become a very popular part of county fairs and summer celebrations all around the country.