Watermelon — summer delight is here


Covered with a hard green rind the fruit in its ripened form is extremely popular

A vendor meticulously arranging watermelons in Vijayawada.— Photo: V. RAJU

A vendor meticulously arranging watermelons in Vijayawada.— Photo: V. RAJU

Summer is round the corner and the sweet and juicy red-fleshed fruit has started making its appearance in almost all busy centres in the city.

Covered with a hard green rind, the fruit, in its ripened form, is extremely popular. Believed to be a fruit with typically six per cent sugar and 91 per cent water, watermelon is associated with a wide range of benefits. Imagine the joy of sinking one’s teeth into the juicy part of the fruit and savouring its cool effect.

The city has witnessed arrival of trucks loaded with the fruit carted in from places as far as Chittoor or even Chennai. Fresh stocks of watermelon are unloaded from trucks at bustling centres like NTR Circle, Pinnamaneni Polyclinic Road, Chuttugunta Centre and Ashok Nagar and arranged systematically in high layers.

The fruit belongs to the ‘Cucurbitaceae’ family which also includes cantaloupe, squash, pumpkin and cucumber.

In a city like Vijayawada that turns into an inferno in peak summer, watermelons become ubiquitous, as they help us hydrate and cool down in the heat. If in the fruit form the red flesh serves as a sweet thirst quencher, and when pureed, it makes a refreshing drink.

And remember how as a child, you quarrelled for a bigger share of the black pips inside the fruit that are eaten with great enthusiasm, especially by kids. The seeds, it is said, are loaded with nutrients like fatty acids, essential proteins and lots of minerals. What more, they are also used in Asian and Middle East cuisines. Roasted watermelon seeds also serve as a snack or used to garnish salads.

 

The fruit typically contains six per cent sugar and 91 per cent water

 

 

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