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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

All About Egusi Melon Seeds In Africa

All About Egusi Melon Seeds In Africa

Egusi History Africa
The wild watermelon is widely distributed in Africa, a bitter tasting fruit with hard light green flesh is not your typical sweet summer fruit. Wild watermelon egusi seeds are fat and protein-rich seeds of a cucurbitaceous plant used in preparing egusi soup - a kind of soup thickened with the ground egusi seeds cooked with water, oil and typically containing vegetables, seasonings and meat which is popular in many West and Central African countries.
Wild watermelon growing

All About Egusi Melon Seeds In Africa


Explore and Understand Africa Through Her Food and Culture




Colocynthis citrullus or egusi melon is classified as a vegetable and part of the cucumber family. Most kinds of egusi melons are grown for their seeds, not for the flesh.


Watermelon for sale in West AfricaAs a member of the gourd family, egusi melon can grow just anywhere, from humid gullies, to dry savannahs and even tropical highlands depending on the type. Bitter watermelons like the egusi are originally from Namibia in southern Africa, and are one of the most common types of melon. 

Bitter watermelon grows in the Kalahari Desert and is indigenous to tropical Africa. Bitter watermelon once established is drought tolerant and an important source of water for living things. Bitter watermelons are an heirloom type of watermelon, the grandmother of all watermelons. Its flesh contains a tough white tissue, making it unlikely to be eaten raw. 

For this reason, it is a popular source of water in the diet of the African Kalahari people.  A bitter watermelon is also a source of water and food for wild and domestic animals. 

The melon is high in vitamin C, minerals, fat, and starch. Because of its taut flesh, it is usually pickled or cooked as a vegetable. The leaves are cooked as vegetable also. Bitter watermelons firm tissue is comparable to the rind of the watermelon, the part usually thrown away. Bitter watermelon originates in southern Africa and occurs naturally in South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Zambia and Malawi.

In many parts of Botswana, Kenya and Nigeria, the egusi seed makes an excellent snack.Egusi looks just like a watermelon on the outside but is actually quite different. Its flesh is biter tough tissue and is used mainly for their seeds. The seeds are the stars of the show which are actually edible nutritious oil and protein similar to pumpkin seeds. In many parts of Botswana, Kenya and Nigeria, the egusi seed makes an excellent snack. 

Egusi seeds are also roasted and ground into a paste similar to peanut butter. According to the Farmers Voice, egusi seeds are frequently added to soups and stews. 

With further preparation, egusi seed meal can be pressed into patties to be used like a meat substitute in rural communities and its oil used for cooking. In some areas where other oils like palm oil, cotton or groundnut oils are scarce egusi is used as substitute in preparing vegetables.



Did you know?
Egusi looks just like a watermelon on the outside but is actually quite different.Egusi Melon or Citrullus lanatus goes by many names such as bitter watermelon, bitterboela, bitterwaatlemoen, ibotola, karkoer, makataan, Tsamma melon, t'sama Kalahari melon and wild watermelon. Bitter watermelon originates in southern Africa and occurs naturally in South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Zambia and Malawi.

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