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Fruit of the Month: Watermelon

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Varieties

There are more than 50 varieties of watermelon. Most have red flesh, but there are orange and yellow-fleshed varieties. Of the 50 varieties of watermelon throughout the United States, there are four general categories: Allsweet, Ice-Box, Seedless and Yellow Flesh.

AllSweet

 * 20–25 pounds

    * Red Flesh

    * Oblong

    * Dark green rind, with or without stripes

Serving suggestion: Surprise your guests by serving a large refreshing wedge of watermelon following a heavy meal. Place the wedge on a plate with a large knife and encourage the entire table to enjoy a slice.

Ice-Box

* 5–15 pounds

    * Red or yellow flesh

    * Round

    * Dark or light green rind

Serving suggestion: Make your salsa or relish really "cool" by substituting watermelon for tomatoes in your favorite recipe. Serve with grilled chicken, fish or pork. Try watermelon salsa with chips, too.

Seedless

    * 10–25 pounds

    * Red or yellow flesh

    * Oval to round

    * Light green rind with dark green stripes

Serving suggestion: This variety's perfect for sorbets and beverages. Blend cubes of seedless watermelon and use the juice in margaritas, daiquiris or lemonade for a new twist.

Yellow Flesh

  * 10–30 pounds

    * Yellow to bright orange flesh

    * Oblong to long

    * Light green rind with mottled stripes

Serving suggestion: Use for color variety as a garnish or side dish. Create festive fruit kabobs by skewering yellow flesh watermelon with other seasonal fruits, such as kiwis and strawberries.

Recipes

South-of-the-Border Watermelon Walla-Walla Sweet Onion Salsa

Makes 4 servings.

Ingredients

    2 cups chopped watermelon (seeds removed)

    3/4 cup chopped Walla Walla Sweet Onion

    3/4 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained

    1/4 cup chopped seeded jalapenõ chilies

    1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

    1 large clove garlic, finely chopped

    1 Tbsp. brown sugar

    1/2 tsp. salt

Stir together all ingredients in bowl. Refrigerate, covered at least 1 hour to blend flavors. Stir before serving.

Nutritional analysis per 1/2-cup serving: Calories 52 , 1Carbohydrate 1g , Proteinv2g, Fat 0.3g, Dietary Fiber 2g, Sodium148mg, Cholesterol 0mg.

WebMD Public Information from the CDC

Reviewed by Michael W. Smith, MD on July 02, 2007
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