Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Armenia is a hot market for "cold" melons

Who doesn't love a cold slice of watermelon on a hot summer day?

We sure do -- and we'd love some day to taste the storied watermelons of Armenia, said to be among the sweetest and fattest in the world.

Apparently, Armenia is enjoying a bumper crop this summer, and entrepreneurs are cashing in. The Armenian news Web site a1plus.am reports "piles of watermelons at every step of the way in different districts of Yerevan" being hawked by vendors.

The displays aren't elaborate: The watermelons "are either on the ground or the asphalt right under the scorching sun," the report states.

Most sellers claim their melons are brought in fresh daily, although the report casts doubt that many can afford to rent trucks so often.

Why would so many vendors sell the same thing? Because watermelons appear to be the runaway favorite of shoppers, most of whom like the convenience of street-side sales.

But not everyone does. "Who would buy watermelons from people who are dressed in dirty clothes with dirty hands?" asks one woman. (In defense of the vendors, it's only fair to note that watermelons do actually grow in dirt.)

As for all those melons left out in the "scorching sun" day after day, the Web site notes that this doesn't deter any of the vendors from hanging up signs boasting: "Cold Watermelon."

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