Watermelon is a sweet, commonly consumed fruit of summer, usually as fresh slices, diced in mixed fruit salads, or as juice. Watermelon juice can be blended with other fruit juices or made into wine.
The seeds have a nutty flavor and can be dried and roasted, or ground into flour. Watermelon rinds may be eaten, but their unappealing flavor may be overcome by pickling, sometimes eaten as a vegetable, stir-fried or stewed.
Watermelon is a popular fruit of Vietnam, especially in the summer, mainly used for refreshment and thirst-quenching, and is loved by all families.
Those who have heard of Vietnamese folk tales must also know the legend of Mai An Tiem – the person planted the first delicious watermelon seed.
In the past – the Hung Vuong 18th time, there was a young man named Mai An Tiem. Mai An Tiem was quick, resourceful, and hard-working, so he was loved by the King and even married to the King’s adopted daughter. Despite the favor, he was still working hard, not expecting to rely on the King’s fortune. However, his good intentions were misinterpreted, falsified and he was exiled to the desert island. Without being discouraged, he conceived that as long as he worked hard, he would survive.
One day by chance, Mai An Tiem discovered that there was a flock of birds from the West, they were sitting on the shore and were eating some kind of black seed. Mai An Tiem thought to himself: “If a bird can eat this seed, everyone can eat it!” Thinking so, Mai An Tiem immediately gathered all the seeds and planted them in the ground. Day by day, he tried hard to fertilize the garden. And when the harvest season came, Mai An Tiem, together with his wife and children, brought home all the ripe fruit. When they ate the fruit, they found that the fruit was very juicy, sweet and delicious. This fruit is our watermelon today.
There are a decent number of watermelon varieties in Vietnam, some imported and some original.
As a signature summertime fruit, the hot and dry weather is the best time for watermelon planting. For this reason, watermelon gardens are usually found in the South of Vietnam – the place of the eternal summer. However, these plants are well adapted to the tropical weather conditions in Vietnam, so they can be planted year round in almost every part of the country.