The first historical recordof Watermelons under cultivation are from Egypt 5,000
years ago. The fruit is thought to have originated in Kalahari Desert area of Africa.
Watermelon is aptly named as it is 92% water by weight.
China leads the world in watermelon production. The U.S. is in fourth place, with
Florida the number one producing state.
The Moors are credited with introducing watermelons to Europe. African Slaves
are credited with introducing watermelons to the Americas.
Bill Carson, of Tennessee, holds the record for growing the largest watermelon in
1990 weighing in at 262 pounds.
In 2004, the total value of production of U.S. watermelons was $313.5 million.
The true "cantaloupe" originated in Cantalupo, Italy. This fruit is actually a
hard-shelled melon that is not grown much outside the Mediterranean countries.
What American's call cantaloupes, are actually muskmelons.
California, Arizona, Texas, Georgia and Indiana are the leading U.S. producers of
cantaloupes (muskmelons). In 1997, the U.S. had 113,770 acres for cantaloupe
cultivation. This year's crop was valued at $417,859,000.
California, Arizona, and Texas are the leading U.S. Producers of Honey Dew
Melons. In 1997, the U.S. had 29,400 acres forhHoney dew melon cultivation. This
year's crop was valued at $109,2394,00
Honeydew is one of the few melons that can continue to ripen once picked
Spain is the largest producer of melons in Europe. Italy, France, Greece, and the
Ukraine are also large producers of melon. Together all these countries account for
94% of European production.