If you are going to visit Almaty in the second half of the summer, then you get a wonderful chance to enjoy sweet watermelons and melons at very attractive prices, because it is known that the home of watermelons and melons is Central Asia. In this article I will talk about what you need to know when buying these excellent berries to enjoy a wonderful taste and not be poisoned by nitrates.
Water melons and melons appear on the shelves of the bazaars and markets of the city around the middle of June and are sold until October. I do not recommend buying watermelons before the end of July, despite the existing myth that in Central-Asia watermelons are lying underfoot since May, the reality is that even the "fastest" varieties grow up only by the end of July. So buying watermelons before, you risk to be poisoned with nitrates, with which "feed" these berries for rapid maturation and increase in mass.
Responsible city authorities do not recommend buying watermelons or melons at spontaneously organized points of sale, recommending buying only in places where there are appropriate conditions for trade (shopping counters), conditions for maintaining personal hygiene of personnel (wash-hand basins, sanitary units) and where the staff underwent a medical examination and has an admission to work. Despite this, Almaty residents often buy watermelons and melons in places of spontaneous trade, usual they are special "paddocks" for watermelons.
Buying a watermelon in such a place, you should pay attention to the following:
berries must lie under a canopy that protects them from sun and rain;
berries should not lie on bare earth, it is preferable that they lay on a wooden pallet with a height of at least 20 cm;
do not buy the berries along the road, as post-harvest watermelon continues to "breathe" so it quickly accumulates heavy metals, which are contained in automobile exhaust gases.
Buying a watermelon or a melon in the bazaar or in the store, you can ask the seller for the results of the veterinary and sanitary examination, including studies on the residual content of nitrates.
It is necessary to adhere to the following elementary rules, in my opinion, relevant for buying any fruits and berries to exclude the possibility of simple food poisoning:
when buying watermelon or melon, pay attention to the integrity of the peel, so it is free from cracks, scratches and dents, fruits are often thrown during transportation, bacteria can get into the fruit through the cracks, and dents often lead to the sourness of the pulp of watermelon;
do not buy sliced berries because dirt from the surface of the watermelon is conveniently placed in the flesh when it is cut with a knife;
do not eat unwashed fruit in places of purchase, and in any case do not make cuts to check the ripeness of the berries, as in most cases they use dirty knives, which can lead to bacterial infection of the pulp of pathogens intestinal infections;
before the cut fruit, it should be rinsed well in running water, preferably by brush, to prevent ingress of dirt from the surface of berries in the pulp;
it is desirable to eat the berries immediately, without leaving for the next day, because the excess sugar in the juicy pulp makes it a breeding ground for bacteria. If the watermelon or melon will remain, you should close the cut with food film and place it in the refrigerator in such a way as to exclude contact with raw foods (eggs and raw meat);
better not to eat the fruit until the peel, nitrates in watermelon are unevenly distributed most of them are closer to the peel and the stalk, better to give children the pulp from the middle of the berry;
if you feel the following syndromes, fatigue, severe headache, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, then you should go to a medical facility, and you should drink plenty of water to induce vomiting. Possible symptoms of watermelon poisoning can also include fever, seizures and joint aches.
These signs of watermelon indicate his ripeness:
choose from a pile watermelon of medium size, the largest, as a rule, overfed with nitrates, too small – usually unripe;
do not buy a watermelon with a large white spot – it is a sign of unripeness, it is desirable that the spot was yellow and not too large, than the more yellow spot, the more generally a sweeter watermelon;
ripe fruit often emits a dull hollow sound when you slapping his with palm, also try slightly having squeezed watermelon on both sides, if the berry produces a slightly crackling sound, then it is ready for use;
ripe watermelon easily scratched with a fingernail, do not show this for the seller, since with such test you spoil the appearance of the berry;
few people know, but watermelons differ by gender, "boys" – more elongated and large, "girls" – smaller and slightly flattened. "Girls" – sweeter;
pay attention to the tail of a watermelon, yellow dry tail, speaks of the ripeness of the berry, green that the watermelon was ripped off early. At the same time, the overdried tail tells us that the watermelon has been lying for a long time and is not being sold. This rule is also relevant for melons;
good watermelon striped – than more "striped", so it is more ripe. The stripes should be contrasting;
well, finally, do not hesitate just to smell the watermelon, the crust must exude a fresh smell, if it does not smell, then probably watermelon was not grown naturally, eating a watermelon with a sour smell – you can seriously poison yourself.
Signs of nitrate watermelon:
Intensively red color of pulp with a slightly purple hue;
the fibers that extend from the core to the peel is not as white as it should be, but with all shades of yellow;
at the "wrong" watermelon the cut surface is smooth, glossy, and in the "right" watermelon it is sugar and granular;
If you grind a piece of watermelon in a glass of water, you can find out – whether he is dangerous. If the watermelon is good, the water will just become cloudy, if the watermelon is "harmful", the water will turn red or pink.
A little about how to choose the "right melon":
melons ripen early than watermelons, so if you really wanted a watermelon, but not yet the end of July, you can treat yourself to this berry;
the ripe melon has a delicate aroma, reminiscent of honey flavor, but in no case should it smell of greens or have a sour smell;
as well as watermelons, hollow sound is emitted when you slap berry with palm;
when you press the peel on the opposite side of the stem, where the "nose of a melon," the peel of the ripe berries will spring, otherwise, was not given melon to ripe, if the spout is too soft – the fruit is overripe;
melon "kolkhoznitsa" and "torpeda" should be yellow without greens. Green spots are a sign of immaturity, brown or gray – the fruit begins to rot;
while cutting a melon, pay attention to the seeds – their gray shade can speak of unripeness or feeding with nitrates. Seeds should have a pleasant yellowish color;
If there are damages, dents or spots on the peel, then the pulp can be wadded and bitter to taste.
The main two kinds of melons that sold in Almaty are large elongated melons ("torpeda") and small, yellow and round (melon "kolkhoznitsa"), small and yellow sweeter and easier to peel from seeds.
Remember the following if you decide to eat a melon:
do not eat melon on an empty stomach and immediately after eating, in its pulp a large amount of carbohydrates. This can lead to the appearance of flatulence (bloating), frequent eructations and other uncomfortable sensations;
try not to eat milk and sour-milk products at the same time as the melon;
do not drink cold water and alcoholic beverages at the same time as you eat the melon, it is also fraught with swelling of the intestines, intestinal colic or diarrhea;
drom a melon it is necessary to refuse at a diabetes, a stomach ulcer of a stomach and a duodenum during an exacerbation, at frustration of an intestine;
also, do not abuse the melon for breastfeeding mothers – this product is able to determine in children the phenomena of dyspepsia (digestive disorders).
This is perhaps all I wanted to tell you. In summer, in Almaty, as in almost all southern cities of Central Asia, a large selection of watermelons and melons, at very affordable prices, for example, the price of watermelon in the season of about 30 tenge (0.1 USD) per kilogram, adhering to the simple rules of the article, you can enjoy with great pleasure all the variety of tastes. Before consuming the fruit, I recommend keep it in cold water, since the cold berry is much more delicious than warm. I hope the article will be useful to you, press "like" if it is so.