In the West, there are many staple items of fruit. The first fruits that come to mind are the apple, banana and if you’re a feeling a bit more summery – the strawberry or raspberry. Alternatively, in Iran the melon is the go-to fruit.
In Iran, melon is always seen eaten as a dessert or a snack, in a restaurant or at home. In the summer months of Iran, a slice of a chunky, fresh and juicy melon is an essential part of your everyday routine, cooling you down after your heavy meal of rice and kebab.
There are many varieties of melons eaten in Iran, ranging from the honeydew or the netted melon. The many types are widely available, with watermelon being extremely popular too.
Melons are not just cut open and sliced to eat. They are regularly used in juices as a refreshing way to cool down in the high summer temperatures.
Melons are something which always take me back to memories of Iran. I have many childhood memories of watermelons being thrown into my grandfather’s swimming pool to chill for later on in the day. In the heat of the summer you will sit down outside on a carpet and cut open a melon together. It’s like a social ritual. The melon is sliced open and put into a giant bowl and you all just grab a fork and help yourself. Some choose to use a plate to eat the fruit from, some just simply eat it from the fork. I really feel like I’m back in Iran, when a melon is served.
In many kitchens or larders in Iran, you will see piles of melons stacked in the corner waiting to be cut and eaten. There never only ever seems to just be one melon in a Persian household, there are always a few stored away for a rainy day. Because of course, a banana or an apple is just not enough here, a melon or two is what is always needed for your five-a-day.