The Nation's Health + [way of life]

Types of watermelon

The more than 500 varieties of watermelon grown worldwide give consumers many choices, with a wide variety of sizes, shapes, and colors from which to choose. They are generally divided into icebox and picnic categories.

The icebox category is so called because the size of the melons, ranging from 5 to 15 pounds, allows them to fit more easily into the refrigerator. Picnics are larger, weighing from 15 to 50 pounds, yet they can grow much larger. In 1991, Bill Rogerson of North Carolina, USA, won a place in the Guinness Book of World Records for his gigantic 279-pound watermelon!

We are most familiar with the vivid reddish-pink flesh dotted with black seeds, but there are also white-, pink-, yellow- and orange-fleshed varieties, both with seeds and without. Color, size and shape have little bearing on the flavor of the flesh between differing varieties.

Seedless varieties are not truly seedless, but actually do contain tiny, white, edible immature seeds in lesser amounts than traditional watermelons.

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