Watermelon Salad (Origin, Recipe)

Watermelon is thought to have originated in the Kalahari Desert of Africa. The first recorded watermelon harvest occurred nearly 5,000 years ago in Egypt and is depicted in Egyptian hieroglyphics on walls of their ancient buildings. In a desert climate like Egypt, there were few things more valuable than water. A food that is 92 percent water is a tremendous resource. In addition, watermelons can remain edible ,if uncut and stored in a cool, dry area.
  Watermelons come from Africa and southwest Asia.  By the 10th century, watermelon found its way to China, which is now the world’s number one producer of watermelons. They gradually began to appear in Europe (13th century) toward the end of the Roman Empire. By 16th Century watermelons were grown by Native Americans. As trade between civilizations became more common, the fruit spread across the globe and each group of people began to cultivate their own watermelon patches that matched the desired traits they wanted in the fruit. In 1635 – Watermelon made its first appearance in an English dictionary in John Mariani’s Dictionary of American Food and Drink.
The so-called original watermelon were “wild watermelon”, they were much different from the watermelons of today. The inside of this ancient wild variety was the exact opposite of the modern-day fruit. It was not tender, bright red and sweet, but hard, pale and immensely bitter. It took centuries-long effort to selectively breed certain varieties and genetic traits to produce the sweet, red fruit we eat today.

                Seedless watermelons were invented over 50 years ago, and they have few or no seeds. The white seed coats are perfectly safe to swallow while eating. So, this is how seedless watermelons are grown —- chromosomes are the building blocks that give characteristics, or traits, to living things including plants and watermelons. Watermelon breeders discovered that crossing a diploid plant (bearing the standard two sets of chromosomes) with a tetraploid plant (having four sets of chromosomes) results in a fruit that produces a triploid seed. (Yes, it has three sets of chromosomes). This triploid seed is the seed that produces seedless watermelons!                                                                                 In other words, a seedless watermelon is a sterile hybrid which is created by crossing male pollen for a watermelon, containing 22 chromosomes per cell, with a female watermelon flower with 44 chromosomes per cell. When this seeded fruit matures, the small, white seed coats inside contain 33 chromosomes, rendering it sterile and incapable of producing seeds. This process does not involve genetic modification.

Sources:

  • Wikipedia – Watermelon
  • Watermelon Board/ watermelon.org

 


There is an Egyptian Watermelon Feta Salad very much famous on internet.  Most barbecues are incomplete without the cool crunch of watermelon. The cool, crunchy watermelon is the perfect companion to a good meal in a hot summer day and is the perfect base for the salty feta; it creates the balance of savory and sweet.

I have changed ingredients as I was not able to find vegetarian feta cheese. So extra firm Tofu and Cheddar cheese( microbial enzymes) are used to create the magic, crunch of sesame seeds boost it up with more nutrition.

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Ingredients:
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice.
  • Himalayan pink salt as per taste
  • 1 Teaspoon of Sesame seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground Black pepper.
  • 2 Tablespoon Red Onions thinly sliced
  • Seedless watermelon scooped into balls with a melon baller or cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks (2 cups), chilled.
  • 2 Tablespoon of Shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 Cup extra firm Tofu

To start this easy salad three bowls are to be prepared – Watermelon, Tofu and Red onions. Scoop out about 2 cups of  Watermelons with the help of melon baller. Left over of watermelon pieces can be used to make Watermelon Squash. I tried to scoop balls of Tofu also but not a great success. So use it in pieces or scrambled form as per your desire. Finally chop Red onions and season it by squeezing fresh lime. Keep it on counter for 10 to 15 minutes for marination.

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Assemble all ingredients in a large mixing bowl – Watermelon, Tofu and marinated Red onions. Add Himalayan pink salt and Black pepper and little lime juice as per taste. Mix it all nicely. Top it up with shredded Cheese and Sesame seeds. Enjoy it, chilled ……

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Tips :  How to choose juicy sweet watermelon  IMG_20180712_162838635.jpg

It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3.

  1. Look the watermelon over.
    You are looking for a firm, symmetrical watermelon that is free from bruises, cuts or dents.
  2. Lift it up.
    The watermelon should be heavy for it’s size. Watermelon is 92% water, most of the weight is water.
  3. Turn it over.
    The underside of the watermelon should have a creamy yellow spot from where it sat on the ground and ripened in the sun.

More Tips:

  • Store your watermelon on the counter or at room temperature this increases the amount of Lycopene in the watermelon which is a powerful antioxidant that can help protect against degenerative diseases.
  • Once it is cut, keep it in the fridge covered in cling wrap and consume.

 

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8 Comments Add yours

  1. Megala says:

    Looks so beautiful & refreshing !

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Rita says:

      Thank you Megala

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Rita says:

      Thank you Surbhi 😊

      Like

  2. PS says:

    Looks so refreshing !!! Adding sesame seeds to this is new to me. Try Crumbly feta cheese or goat cheese,you may love that combo.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Rita says:

      True PS, Thanks for stopping by.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Awesome looking rita 🙂 really exciting 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Rita says:

      Thank you Swathi ❤

      Liked by 1 person

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