Sweet melons, Cucumis melo, are highly prized today; however, the lack of enthusiasm for melons in Mediterranean antiquity indicates that they did not possess the sugary sweetness of modern melons. Paris et al., through an extensive search of medieval literature, find evidence for the existence of sweet melons in Central Asia in the mid-9th century. Sweet melons, evidently casabas, were grown in Andalusia in the late 11th century, which probably arrived from Central Asia by a mostly maritime trade route. Climate and geopolitical boundaries may have caused the delay in the diffusion of sweet melons into the rest of Europe.
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Annals of Botany Office
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