Hirsiz Calmaz Melon

Fruit, nuts and fruit preserves - Turkey

The phrase hırsız çalmaz (or hırsız almaz) means, 'not even a thief would steal it.' This pale yellow Turkish melon with a hard rind does not look very appealing in the field, and that is how the variety got its name: pointing out that not even a thief would steal it from the field. It ripens at end of July. The yellow-orange fruit inside is juicy, sweet and has a fresh scent. It is said to get its flavor from the alluvial soil it grows in. This variety is quite resilient in that it can remain in the fields and be harvested until the end of October. Melons between 1 and 3 kg are the size most often seen at markets. This variety is native to Turkey and is mainly cultivated in the Gönen province of Balıkesir, located in South Marmara Region, and is sometimes also called Gönen melon. It is sold locally from July to October, but can only be found in small markets, not from wholesalers or supermarkets. It is grown in small quantities, and its price is considerably higher than other commercial varieties. Today, the hırsız çalmaz melon is at risk of extinction because it is being replaced by improved or exotic varieties.