Large-scale farming of watermelon in Taiwan actually started in 1717, introduced by migrants from Hokkien, the latter at the invitation of the Ming-Cheng dynasty (1662-1683). The varieties have since increased in leaps and bounds. Some of them are shown below:
The acreage of watermelon growth has increased from 1,500 before 1950 to a peak of 36,257 hectares in mid-1980, now down to 11,715 hectares, still quite sizable. And the cultivation fields have shifted from the initial mid-Taiwan, to southern, now to eastern Taiwan.
|瓜子- some skills are needed to extract|
the "meat" inside each seed
There is also no such thing as a pure watermelon vine. Watermelon is grown from twigs grafted onto roots of other vines such as 蒲瓜 (hulu), winter melon, 絲瓜 (loofah). and pumpkin. And the rumor that yellow-fleshed watermelon is the original strain which was overwhelmed by the red-fleshed ones appears an urban legend.
Currently, the most popular regular-sized red-fleshed watermelon is 華寶HuaBao.
Little known factoid: The best-tasting watermelon is in a state of Shua (沙）（Taiwanese, meaning sandiness) ripeness. Over-ripen watermelon has started to ferment and the flesh would become disturbingly soggy.