Watermelon Revisited

After recently purchasing a whopper of a watermelon, so juicy and delicious, we thought it appropriate to relive our love of this wonderful fruit. Read on…
If I say “Armenian fruit,” you say… Apricot? Pomegranate? Quince?

All good answers. But why not watermelon?

Melons of various types are traditional Armenian favorites, and watermelon is near the top of most everyone’s list.

My father-in-law had vivid memories of the enormous watermelons that grew in his native Dikranagerd (Diyarbakir, Turkey). Twenty-pounders are a common sight there along the fertile banks of the Tigris River.

Armenians make a sweet candy out of the rind, but doesn’t everybody enjoy the sweet meat of the melon all by itself?

Actually…it’s kind of funny, but plenty of Armenians don’t.

Like all fruits in Armenia — and unlike much of what we find in American supermarkets — watermelons are notably sweet. Many Armenians have a tradition of balancing sweetness with salt. So fruit is often eaten with salted cheese- in our case – Armenian string cheese. Some even sprinkle salt right on the melon.

Watching your sodium? Here’s another Armenian way to add a counterpoint to watermelon’s sweetness: Mint.

Chop up a few springs of fresh mint and sprinkle over melon slices. It’s a perfect marriage of flavors.

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  1. VeronicaL July 30, 2010 at 8:44 am

    I love salt on watermelon! I'm Mexican-American, and we eat it with salt, red chile powder, and a squeeze of lime juice. May sound odd to others, but it's a great combination! Mint sounds wonderful. I love mint.

  2. Unknown July 30, 2010 at 2:52 pm

    Oh, Armenian string cheese. Heaven. I totally forgot there was watermelon on the plate when I saw that! 🙂 You're right. we do love to balance the plate; sweet with salty/savory.

  3. David Blasco July 30, 2010 at 11:45 pm

    Salt is superb, but I've learned to do without it. Gorgeous pictures, by the way, really bring out the red, and I know you don't use PhotoShop! It always seems kind of funny eating seedless watermelon all the time. Somehow, it was better as a kid, annoying seeds and all…

  4. Anonymous November 23, 2010 at 11:08 am

    A postscript to your lovely ode to the watermelon: My American-born Dikranagerdsi father would always say he could subsist on haatz, baaneer, tsumeroug as a meal, and would often do so. Another thing more than one Dikranagerdsi would say (in dialect) in my growing up years was how wonderfully watermelon would wash and settle everything down after a meal. There is a proverb: "You cannot hold two watermelons in one hand." The Dikranagerdsi version of this adage is: "With enormous Dikranagerdsi watermelons being what they are, you cannot even hold one of them with TWO hands."


  5. Robyn November 28, 2010 at 6:52 pm

    I love that adage, Lucine. Thanks!

  6. Robyn November 28, 2010 at 6:52 pm

    I love that adage, Lucine. Thanks!


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