Central Asia is considered the homeland of melon. In the 14th century the prominent Arabian traveler Ibn Battuta wrote, “No melon can be compared with the Khorezmian ones, except, maybe, for the melons from Bukhara and those from Isfagan. Their skin is green, and the pulp is red; they are very sweet, yet hard.”
The gardens of Bukhara, Samarkand, and the Fergana Valley (now in Uzbekistan) were well known among Silk Road travelers for their delicious melons. Over the centuries, local farmers created numerous varieties of melons whose flavors vary from pineapple to vanilla. Uzbekistan’s melons are reputedly some of the best in the world. Each region is famous for its own variety of melon. Throughout the winter, melons are preserved according to old methods. They are put into straw or thread net bags and hung from the ceiling, or buried in dry sand.