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Cantaloupe gets its name from the castle of Cantalupo in Italy, where 16th century monks first grew the melon for vacationing Popes.

Watermelon originated in Africa. It is a member of the gourd family, and its relatives include the pumpkin, squash, and cucumber. Have you ever watched people shopping for watermelon? Everyone has a trick as to how to tell if a watermelon is ripe. Some thump the watermelon, listening for a specific sound. Others search for bee stings, the little brown spots or stripes often seen on the melons. The watermelon that has the most, they believe, must be the sweetest. Why else would a bee sting it so many times? Well, using the following hints should pretty much guarantee you a great, red watermelon every time to shop for one:
1. The watermelon should have a yellow underside-a yellow belly. This means the watermelon ripened on the ground before being picked for shipment.
2. The watermelon should be heavy for its size.
3. The watermelon should have a healthy sheen.

This Melons recipe is from the Food Facts and History Cookbook. Download this Cookbook today.

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