Did you know that Iran is one of the largest watermelon producers worldwide? Neither did I! And also, Iranian watermelon is considered to be one of the best varieties in the world! In the world! Can you believe it! And I always thought they came from the Caribbean!
Due to watermelons being tropical or subtropical plants they need temperatures higher than about 25 °C (77 °F) to thrive (so probably won’t grow in my garden in North Shropshire where all it does it rain!!) Therefore watermelons need to grow in warm places which make Iran’s climate perfect for watermelon production. Sunlight is crucial for fruit development with most watermelon plants producing 4-5 fruits per vine. They require a fair amount of water for the first few weeks of growth however when the fruit sets, you can almost stop watering the plants. As the fruit develops, the less water the plants get the better and sweeter the flesh becomes. Less water increases the sugar content and concentration in the fruit, leading to sweeter, crisper melons.
So now you know where these beautiful coloured melons come from you probably wonder where I am going with it… Well, I am sure you will agree that there is nothing more refreshing on a hot day than an ice cold drink or slushie. And when I say slushie I am not talking about the synthetic blue ones that you get in theme parks that I have to drag my 3 year old away from!
On hot summer days Iranian’s will simply blend watermelon (best in the world) with ice cubes and drink away and I have to say it is one of my faves. It’s great for little people too as they think its a naughty treat when in fact it is literally fruit and ice!
Try it and let me know what you think! A trick I’ve learnt, is that if you slice up the flesh and freeze it you don’t need to add ice! Simply blitz and drink! Nooshe Jaan!
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Place two handfuls of sliced watermelon flesh in a blender with two handfuls of ice and a squeeze of fresh lime juice. Blitz, pour into a nice glass and drink away.