Photo: Late boat at Waecicu near Labuan Bajo.

What is a watermelon?

The green-skinned, pink-fleshed watermelon - a truly refreshing treat on a hot day - is the largest of all the sweet melons and is believed to have originated in Africa. True to its name, it contains more than 90 percent water. A typical watermelon weighs 3 to 4 kilograms although they can get heavier than 30 kilograms. The fruit grows on a vine on the ground and is related to the cantaloupe and pumpkin.

Once picked, a watermelon will not get riper but instead starts to deteriorate as its flesh gets softer. The flesh should be firm and a deep pink, although more frequently yellow-fleshed melons are appearing in Thailand. Watermelons are packed with anti-oxidants and are also good sources of vitamin A and C.

The watermelon seeds are also edible, but you need to remove the outer coating of the seed. In Thailand, the watermelon is a popular fruit for fruit carving, with the green skin, white rind and pink flesh making for eye-catching pieces.

Fruit in Asia FAQ

A bit of history, perhaps a taste-test and an idea on just what some of those Asian fruits really look like.

Asian fruit FAQ

What is a banana?
What is a cantaloupe?
What is a durian?
What is a guava?
What is a jackfruit?
What is a longan?
What is a mangosteen?
What is a papaya?
What is a pineapple?
What is a rambutan?
What is a soursop?
What is a starfruit?

Top of page