Watermelons are the large, hard-skinned fruit of an annual herbaceous vine, most cultivated in Mediterranean countries. Originating in Africa, it is known to have been cultivated in ancient Egypt. There are many different varieties, named according to color, shape and where they are raised. Some of the favored varieties in Turkey include:
- Yeni Dünya: Much planted in the Marmara region, it has a thin, light-colored rind and dark red, crisp and sweet flesh. Its seeds are small and white.
- Alacal?:A light green watermelon with evenly-spaced dark spots. It has a hard rind, pinkish-red flesh and black seeds.
- Kara: Very sweet and flavorful fruits with a thick dark green rind. Because the inner flesh appears crystalline, it is also known as kara buz, or black ice. It has small, reddish seeds, with occasional black seeds as well.
- Gülle: Α winter variety, it is dark green and shaped like a cannonball, which is the meaning of its name.
- Washington: A variegated green, early bearing variety with a thin rind.
- Diyarbak?r: A round fruit with a very thick variegated rind. Averaging from 20-30 kg, it may reach 50-60 kg.