August 3rd is National Watermelon Day!
Today’s five facts about watermelons:
- By weight, watermelon is the most-consumed melon in the U.S., followed by cantaloupe and honeydew.
- Watermelon is 92% water.
- The first recorded watermelon harvest occurred nearly 5,000 years ago in Egypt.
- Watermelon’s official name is Citrullus Lanatus of the botanical family Curcurbitaceae. It is cousins to cucumbers, pumpkins and squash.
- Early explorers used watermelons as canteens.
Today’s Food History
- 1492 Christopher Columbus sailed from Spain on his first voyage to what he thought were the Indies.
- 1801 Sir Joseph Paxton was born. Paxton was an English landscape gardener, and hothouse designer. He was the architect of the Crystal Palace at the Great Exhibition of 1851 in London.
- 1806 Michel Adanson was born. Adson was a French botanist who developed a system of plant classification based on physical characteristics. His system was opposed by Carolus Linnaeus, and was not widely used.
- 1811 Elisha Graves Otis was born. He invented the first safe elevator, and opened the door to rooftop restaurants.
- 1914 The first ships pass through the Panama Canal.
- 1921 John Macready became the first to crop dust from an airplane (Troy, Ohio).
- 1941 Martha Stewart was born. Entertaining advisor, cookbook author, etc.
- 1954 Colette, (Sidonie Gabrielle) died. A French novelist, her novels contain many exact and detailed descriptions of food and the pleasures of the table, and quite a few recipes