If you were around in 2007 when the Oklahoma legislature officially settled the argument over whether the watermelon was a fruit or a vegetable, you might remember it was quite the scandal. The adoption of watermelon becoming the official state vegetable passed in a vote 78-18, and when challenged as to why watermelon was chosen as a vegetable, the SWOK state senator that championed the issue gave the most glorious quote on the matter. After admitting that it was in fact a fruit, he added "but it's also a vegetable because it's a member of the cucumber family" still not realizing that cucumbers are also a fruit. It's just, like tomatoes, we use cucumbers like we would use vegetables.

Sure, it's a fun thing to read about and kind of poke fun of it after the fact, but it's not the strangest argument in the world. We've long argued about tomatoes even though every scientific source in the world classifies it as a berry. Isn't a pop-tart really just breakfast ravioli? Should chili have beans? Are burgers and hotdogs really just sandwiches? Ketchup belongs on hotdogs... Deep dish isn't pizza, it's a casserole... You see, we've had ridiculous arguments on food as long as our species has been eating. Why is accepting a fruit as the official state vegetable one step too far for some people?

I think it's clear cut and dry more so now than this loaded question would have been a few hundred years ago. If you google the evolution of the watermelon, you'll see what they used to look like prior to selective gardening and all sorts of old world alchemy. You cut one open now, and beyond the small rind around the outside, the whole of the interior is edible. But a few hundred years ago, and still in some remote corners of the world, the watermelon resembles what can only be described as a huge pomegranate. Thick rind throughout with little pockets of sweet fruity flesh.

No matter where you land on this outrageous Oklahoma topic, it's at least the perfect lead in to crack open a watermelon at any occasion. Preferably after it has sat in the bottom of the fridge for a day or two. Also, fun fact, while most people avoid the watermelons in store that have that weird yellow patch on the bottom of the rind, that odd color is the trademark of the sweetest watermelons on the vine. The deeper the yellow, the better it tastes. Pick those over the "perfect" melons, you'll thank me later.

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