Native to Africa, watermelon is a succulent fruit that has been grown and eaten by humans for more than 4,000 years. Ancient Egyptians included this member of the gourd family in many paintings, but Europeans were likely not familiar with the watermelon until the early Middle Ages. Today, watermelons are grown around the world and continue to be utilized as a source of water in some arid parts of Africa. In the United States, however, the juicy fruit is more often consumed as a refreshing treat at barbecues or picnics on warm afternoons. Synthetic versions of watermelon flavoring, which are utilized in everything from hard candies to lip gloss, can bring back memories of such relaxing summer activities even in the dead of winter.

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