Happy National Watermelon Day! Each year on August 3rd, watermelon lovers across the nation celebrate this juicy and refreshing fruit. In honor of National Watermelon Day, we are sharing the best watermelon teas, the history of watermelon, and fun watermelon facts.
Fun Facts About Watermelon
- Watermelons are mostly water—around 92 percent.
- Watermelon is the most consumed melon in the United States by weight, followed by cantaloupe and honeydew.
- All parts of the watermelon are edible, including the seeds and rind.
- Watermelons are related to cucumbers, pumpkins, and squash.
- According to Guinness World Records, the world’s heaviest watermelon was grown in Tennessee and weighed 350.5 pounds.
- Over 1,200 varieties of watermelon are grown worldwide.
Celebrate National Watermelon Month with Watermelon Teas
- Watermelon Mint Black Iced Tea – This cooling tea captures the essence of summer with a blend of smooth black tea, sun-ripened watermelon, and peppermint.
- Hibiscus Watermelon Tea – Ripe watermelon delivers a refreshing sweetness to this tart and tropical hibiscus tea.
- Hydration Watermelon Single Sips – Delight in the bright, refreshing flavor of watermelon anytime and anywhere with these convenient single-serve packets.
We invite every Citizen to celebrate National Watermelon Day sip by sip with these delicious and flavorful watermelon teas!
Origins of Watermelon
The history of watermelon is a long and fascinating one. The origins of the fruit have been traced back more than 5,000 years to the arid deserts of north and west Africa. At the time, these wild watermelons would have been hard and bitter, yet still very hydrating. The Ancient Egyptians were among the first to cultivate watermelon, most likely for its high water content.
Over the millennia, selective breeding of various wild watermelon species led to the creation of the modern watermelon, which is much sweeter and brighter in color than ancient varietals. As trade between civilizations increased, the fruit made its way around the globe.
The Moors transported the first watermelons to Spain around 1100 AD, and are credited with spreading the fruit throughout the rest of Europe during the Middle Ages. By 1600 the watermelon was a common garden crop cultivated across Europe.
Merchants introduced the watermelon to India and China, and later to the Americas. The fruit thrived in the warm tropical weather of Florida, Central America, and South America. Later explorers, such as Captain James Cook, transported watermelon seeds to Hawaii and other Pacific islands.
Cultural Significance of Watermelon
For the Ancient Egyptians, watermelon was an incredibly important crop. Hieroglyphics from approximately 5,000 years ago depict the earliest recorded watermelon harvest. Archeologists have discovered remains of the fruit in Egyptian burial tombs, perhaps placed there to nourish kings and other high-status members of society in the afterlife. Pharaoh Tutankhamun (King Tut) was among the many ancient royals to have been buried with watermelon seeds.
Eastern cultures have long used watermelon rinds in cooking. In China, the rinds are often stir-fried into spicy, savory dishes. Throughout Asia and the Middle East, watermelon seeds are commonly dried and roasted, much like pumpkin seeds. Even here in the United States, watermelon has a history of savory cooking—the first American cookbook from 1776 contains a recipe for pickled watermelon rinds.
Iced watermelon tea is the ultimate refresher on a scorching August afternoon, while hot tea is wonderful any time of the year. Steep a cup of watermelon tea and savor sip by sip!