Blessing and a treasure from XinJiang

Originating in Africa, Hami melons were said to be cultivated in west China as early as Han Dynasty (206 BC–220 AD). In a group of tombs excavated in Turpan City in Xinjiang, archaeologists found a half of a dried Hami melon inside, which might have been there for at least 1,500 years. It is believed that Hami melons used to be special tributes sent by the Hami King to the Kangxi Emperor (1654-1722), who thus gave the melon its current name.

As a type of muskmelon, the Hami melon can be found in over 180 varieties. The sugar content of Hami melons is commonly above 23 percent, thanks to the ample sunlight that could last for 16 hours a day.

Despite its sweetness, the Hami melon is a fruit with low calorie but high moisture, which is good news for people who love dessert and want to keep fit. Every 100 grams of Hami melons is said to have 34 kilocalories. The vitamin content in Hami melons is also four times or even seven times higher than those in watermelons, and six times higher than in apples. These ingredients can help digestion and keep people healthy.

Nowadays, the Hami melon is no longer a tribute to the emperor, but widely enjoyed by common people. Though it is cultivated in an arid and dry region, the plant generates one of the sweetest fruit and embodies great nutrients. It is a blessing and a treasure for locals.

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