By Hasnain Raza Gardezi
ISLAMABAD, June 3 (APP): The Watermelon – sweet juicy, veggie-fruit, widely believed to be first harvested some 5,000 years ago
in Egypt – remained low cost summer staple for centuries in sub-continent. Though it is still an affordable family
feast but it could not attain that much admiration and significance it earns in some other countries.
The most prestigious place this overgrown produce reaps in America, Japan and Oklahoma.
It is Oklahoma’s official state vegetable,where as, Americans every year on August 3 celebrate
as National Watermelon Day, marked as a holiday festivity. Japanese, “at their own unofficially giving
it more greater recognition” annually dedicate a day as World Watermelon Day. Japanese have
another hallmark achievement of developing square watermelons for the ease to shelve them in
refrigerators and racks.
Knowingly declared as a vegetable-fruit it has another distinctive feature for rarely being cooked
like a curry in traditional cooking vessel.”It would be funny experience to cook this item in a pip-kin on
fire with added hot Asian spices, Not sure what will be an outcome but it will be a fun for the eaters,”
remarked Chief Chef Shahid Khan at Gun & Country Club, when asked did he ever cook watermelon.
He termed it impractical to deal it like a vegetable for being so watery and sweetie in nature.
Agri-expert and Director Farms Planning at National Agricultural Research Centre Shamim ul
Sibtain said, the Watermelon plant’s drought-tolerant ability ensures it’s maximum growth rate as
it love the heat, and need a long and warm growing season of at least 70 to 85 days. He said
country’s most tasty variety is produced in Thal’s hot and sandy soil where day time temperature
touches 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit in which maximum species of other saplings could not survive.
“This veggie-fruit’ he said, not only endures this hot and humid climate Â but also drags and soaks over 92 per cent of water with no competitor on earth having Adam’s ale to this extent,” he added.
Called a fruit of angels by Mark Twain its different varieties across the globe have some very fascinating names reflecting public infatuation with this specie.Among them a few are Queen of Hearts, King of Hearts, Millionaire, Crimson, Trio,Nova, Desert King,Tendergold,Yellow Baby, Yellow Doll and black diamond.
Imrozia Waheed School Health and Nutrition Supervisor, sharing some nutritionist values of this summer specialty, said it contains rich vitamins minerals, potassium, magnesium and anti-oxidants.Vitamin deficiency was a biggest challenge for children and women of third word today and World Health Organization was combating to overcome it. She said this fruit in our country is in abundance and an effective natural food to fight this insuffiency in human body. She said it was a season’s blessing when sweating dehydrates body and it was a great anti-dehydrent agent. She recommended it’s consecutive usage for kidney, liver and abdominal health.
Imrozia said scientists with over the years research managed to discover that this magical diet for being rich in vitamins and minerals and low in calories was a divine sanction for cardiovascular health.
The medical scientists also discovered that Watermelon was among the best dietary sources of lycopene, an antioxidant linked to both the prevention and treatment of prostate cancer.
An 85-year old practicing doctor Ghulam Hussain said it would be quite unbelievably interesting for our younger generations born after 80s that the fruit remained a must item in annual urs and lok melas (Religious and Cultural Festivals) being celebrated across the country.No devotee or visitor was supposed to get back home without a melon in his hands, he added.He said It was kept for hours in a water well with a special net pocket, entangled with a rope to make it a cool family treat due to absence of refrigerators.
According to Guinness World Records, the world’s heaviest watermelon was grown by Chris Kent of Sevierville, Tennessee in 2013, weighing in at 350.5 lbs.
According to reported statistics China is the leading Watermelon producer with 66% share followed by
Iran and Turkey.
After going through this a bit of informative episode it is hoped that social media wizards in our country will
also initiate a campaign with a slogan “Tarbooz Ko Izzat Dau, (Give Respect to Watermelon), the same
it posses in some other parts of the globe.