Certain plants are called melons. They have large fruits that are actually berries. Despite this similarity, not all melons are equally closely related. There are two types: cantaloupes and watermelons. But they are also related to pumpkins and courgettes, which are called courgettes in Switzerland. All together form the pumpkin family, which also includes other plants.
Melons originally grew in the subtropics, i.e. where it is hot. But they have also been growing here for a long time because they have adapted to the climate through breeding. Melons are popular because they taste good, quench thirst, and refresh us.
What is special about watermelon?
Watermelon is an annual plant. So you have to reseed them every year. The leaves are large and gray-green. Their fruits can weigh up to 50 kilograms. They are usually around two kilograms or a little heavier. The red flesh is moist and sweet. Some varieties have seeds, while others don’t.
Watermelons need little water, which is why they are also planted in dry areas. The fruits are then a kind of substitute for drinking water. In Africa, the fruit is not only raw but also cooked. In the Soviet Union, juice was used to make alcohol. Indians grind the dried seeds and use them to make bread. In China, particularly large seeds have been bred and oil is pressed from them. The seeds can also be used medicinally.
What is special about the cantaloupe melon?
The cantaloupe is more closely related to the cucumber than to the watermelon. An example of a cantaloupe is the honeydew melon. The fruit is not green on the outside, but yellow. It doesn’t get as big as a watermelon, mostly just about the size of a human head. Their flesh is white to orange. It tastes even sweeter than the flesh of the watermelon.
The cantaloupe is not only a good thirst quencher. It also contains many vitamins and other substances that our body needs. The ancient Egyptians were probably the first to cultivate cantaloupes.