Watermelon | Karpuz
Watermelon is believed to have originated on the continent of Africa more than 5,000 year ago. Before spreading north into Mediterranean and Europe between 400 BC and 500 AD, ancient Egyptians had been cultivating watermelon for more than 3,000 years. It is thought that the ancient Egyptians would store watermelon as an alternative source to fresh water. Depictions of watermelon, as well as watermelon seeds, have been discovered in Egyptian tombs (including that of King Tutankhamen). Today, Turkey is the largest producer of watermelon in Europe and cultivates twenty percent of the watermelon grown worldwide.
In Turkey, watermelon is primarily consumed fresh. It is commonly paired with white cheese (beyaz peynir) as a summer salad.
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