What Is “xigua”?

“Xigua” is the Mandarin Chinese name for a watermelon. The term “xigua” is commonly used for a small, roundish watermelon, similar to the watermelons grown in China. It is found in markets specializing in East Asian foods.

Xigua grows on the Citrullus lanatus plant, a vine originally from South America. In both the United States and China, the xigua, or watermelon, is served as a sweet dessert either plain or in a fruit salad. It is high in both sugar and water and makes a nice addition to cold summer soups and refreshing drinks. Watermelon seeds are also edible fresh or dried, and they are sometimes added to animal feed.