In Pakistan, you know summer has arrived when you spot the watermelons. From the fruit and veg aisles of pricey supermarkets to the countless carts along the roads, the predecessor to mangoes is here to reign supreme till it’s time to make way for the Chaunsa.

Jokingly referred to as the only ‘booze’ that’s legally available in the Land of the Pure (and that too for a nominal price), the ‘tarbooze’ is a delight both rich and poor can enjoy alike. Along with cantaloupes and honeydews, the watermelon is a summer staple that’s synonymous with lazy afternoons, beach picnics and garden parties. The sight of ‘experts’ knocking on a watermelon to check its ripeness and predict its sweetness is a familiar one at fruit stalls.

It’s not all about the taste, though. The watermelon is densely packed with nutrients, Vitamins A, B6, and C, lycopene, anti-oxidants and amino acids, its benefits acknowledged by modern as well as traditional medicine.

The high water content and electrolytes prevent dehydration and heat stroke; the anti-oxidants and lycopene fend off cancer and protect from heart disease; the potassium helps soothe sore muscles and the amino acids ensure beautiful skin. And going back to taste, the best, and most logical reason for eating it is – it’s simply delicious!