Taste of Turkmen melon is the result of centuries-old selection work

Photo: Yelena DOLGOVA

When melon was cultivated for certain is unknown. The fact that since time immemorial it is grown in the valleys of the rivers Murghab, Tejen, Amu Darya is beyond doubt. This ancients fruit has existed for many thousands of years. Once upon a time, these golden fruits with honey flesh, exuding a wonderful aroma, carried caravans along the roads of the Great Silk Road to China, India, and Europe. Since the 90-ies of the XIX century, unusual golden balls were exhibited at agricultural exhibitions and fairs in Russia and Europe.

The melon was a symbol of the fertility of the Turkmen land since olden times. Today in our country are grown fragrant sugary melons of known varieties "Vaharman", "gulyabi", "garrygyz" and many others. Gourmets appreciated the taste of an exquisite dessert with melting pulp in the mouth - "gurbek"! Early and late, large and miniature balls and elliptical fragrant melon "bodies" adorn the country's markets from the middle of summer until the very winter. By right, this fruit is considered a "visiting" card of our country, a witness of diligence of Turkmen farmers, a high level of melon growing.

The secret of the exquisite and unsurpassed taste of Turkmen melons is not only in soil and climatic features and irrigation technology, but in the selection work of many generations of melon growers who created varieties adapted to the conditions of the arid zone. Seeds of melons, in which valuable varietal indices are concentrated, can be found only among enthusiasts. This collection is part of the national heritage, which is preserved and studied by specialists for introduction into the wide practice of cultivation. In addition to painstaking selection work, close interrelation between science and agro-production is important, a competent combination of modern technologies and original traditions of cultivation of culture.

The melon has long served as a nutritious and delicious product for Turkmens - a piece of churek and a slice of melon served as an indispensable ration for the traveler. Ripe flesh of this fruit contains easily digestible sugars, starch, proteins, vitamins, fiber, pectins, organic acids, various minerals.