Rus Articles Journal

What is the Astrakhan city of Kamyzyak, or What “lunar“ water-melon on taste nice for?

On the route P - 214 in 20 km from Astrakhan in the Volga Ponizovye the small town of Kamyzyak was located. The word is Turkic, surprisingly cheerful and ringing. “Ęŕěűń˙“ in Tatar means a cane root. There is also other translation - cane erik.

Earlier Kamyzyak was the fishing village. Local places are so rich with fish that since ancient times received the name “gold mine“. Fishery and still means much in life of residents of this town so every second Sunday of July they celebrate Day of the fisherman. Festivities are followed by obligatory preparation of fish soup and well-known “black“ pie with the whole big fish baked in it.

But main sight of Kamyzyak nowadays another. In the city is only in our country All-Russian scientifically - research institute of the irrigated vegetable growing and melon growing which in 2011 noted the 100 - the anniversary. And at VNIIOB - besides the only museum of a water-melon in Russia and Europe where it is possible to see even an exotic fruit with a yellow core.

The water-melon “Lunar“ was removed in 2007 by the hereditary selector - the enthusiast Sergey Sokolov after ten years of creative search. Very few people know that the wild water-melon too yellow pulp, but has it almost inedible. And such “savages“ meet only on their homeland presently - in deserts of South Africa.

The grade “Lunar“ more gentle, more sweet and is more juicy than his red relative and in addition has delicate lemon taste. However, despite exoticism, it, perhaps, even will not manage to be widely adopted and become a popular delicacy over time. Nevertheless I am sure, this grade of a water-melon will keep interest in itself as to an exclusive entertainment.

By the way, word harbyuz/? arbuz is borrowed kypchaksky tribes. Their language was a lingva of franc of the Golden Horde, means of interethnic communication in the Great Turkic state. In turn χ arbuz ascends to Persian χ arb ū za, χ arbuza - a melon that is literally translated as “an asinine cucumber“.

A water-melon and actually vegetable, but not berry as we were taught at botany lessons at school. Scientists call a fruit of a water-melon of a tykvin . Then not casually Ukrainians and Belarusians “to klinut pumpkin garbuzy“?

On the Astrakhan earth water-melons began to grow up in the 7th century. The water-melon was decoration of a table of the Hazaria and zolotoordynsky khans ruling in local places in those old times. Soldiers - nomads took water-melons in campaigns as vessels with water and the food refreshing and giving strength. Curative properties of a water-melon were used by Aesculapians.

In the XIII-XIV centuries Tatars delivered water-melons on the territory of modern Russia. The first written mention of the Astrakhan water-melons belongs to 1560. Then the tsar Alexey Mikhaylovich enjoined to bring them to the yard. And Peter I, having ventured once to taste “unusual fruit“ on a market in Astrakhan, at all was enraptured, having disposed to give salute and to rap out a coin in honor of a water-melon. The great reformer did not resist innovation also here: ordered to grow up this vegetable near Moscow, but water-melons, alas, did not grow in severe climate.

On 50 - 60 - e years blossoming of the Astrakhan melon growing and trade in water-melons had. The sweet goods were carried barges to Nizhny Novgorod and Perm, and after 1880 - by rail to Saratov and Tsaritsyn, further - to Moscow. When the offer exceeded demand, it became difficult to market water-melons. An attempt to find a way out was made by the Imperial free economic society which announced a competition on production from sugar water-melons. In this case nobody achieved success, but since that moment in industrial scale began to make nardek - water-melon honey. It turned out by a filtration and long evaporation of juice of pulp of mature fruits. Nardek exported to Europe and used at production of the most tasty Russian gingerbreads.

Now the water-melon is considered one of the most favourite and popular desserts, and before a harbyuz did not eat crude, its segments long soaked in marinade and cooked with pepper and sharp spices.

Today a strong, sugar water-melon - one of brands of the Astrakhan region on an equal basis with a vobla and, alas, disappearing black caviar. The steppe climate, long hot dry summer and soft, short winter as well as possible are suitable for natural maturing of water-melons in an open ground at the beginning of July without use of chemicals. All these reasons together with the total amount of annual production of this melon culture estimated in hundreds of thousands of tons turned the region into the All-Russian melon field.

Experts define a water-melon maturity, clicking on it fingers and putting an ear to zelyono - striped go on in thirst to hear the pure, elastic and resounding ring of ripe pulp. Sure signs of ripeness - dry, brown color a tail and light it is yellow - an orange spot on one side which has pins and needles in a water-melon.

It is necessary to choose not too small and not too big fruits. Though everything is relative. In ancient times water-melons less than 10 kilograms were not offered for sale, fed with them a livestock. And now such copy will decorate any holiday table.

And one more secret: the water-melon is bisexual. “Boy“ has a convex bottom with a small circle, and “girls“ have more flat bottom and a wide circle. And so, “girls“ are more tasty! In them more sugar there are less stones.

Every year, since 2002, at the end of August in Kamyzyak there takes place the Russian Water-melon festival which brings together participants from all areas of the Astrakhan region and other bakhchevodchesky regions - Volgograd, Rostov-on-Don, Stavropol. Here it is possible to see the largest and unusual water-melons, to try much different grades and to participate in cheerful competitions, for example, on the fastest eater of a water-melon. Traditionally choose the largest and most sweet water-melons. This action does not concede to water-melon holidays which are spent annually in China, the USA or Greece.

So, kamyzyak whether it is time to come to the international level?