Abundance of dates,melons, and dried fruit on this Iranian fresh market

The Tabrix bazaar: ancient, exotic trade centre

The bazaar in the Iranian city of Tabriz is the oldest of its kind in the world. It is not for nothing that this Asian market has been on the Unesco world heritage site list since 2010. Since then, there have been regular renovations taking place. The entire complex - of which some parts date back to the 16th century - is about 1,5 km long. It covers a total area of approximately 300 ha. There is, among others, a rug, jewellery, and spice section. There is also an extensive fresh market in this centrally located bazaar.

One of the many dates stands at the bazaar

Versatile melon trade 
The mostly covered site houses mainly specialist wholesale and small trading businesses. Iran has a diverse landscape and limited trade relationships with other countries. Thanks to this, the bazaar almost exclusively offers local products. These include (water)melons and dates in large quantities. They are of strongly varying quality and not only the kinds that are well-known (in Europe). A popular variety among local consumers is the Henduneh, an oval watermelon. Elongated, yellow melons are also frequently sold.

Dates and dried fruit
Dates and dried fruit are also a drawing card for this Iranian fresh market. These can be found in all shapes and sizes - from the classic Medjoul dates to dried Zahedi figs. One of the more exclusive date varieties is the Bam date. This date that grows in the southern cultivation regions is even traded here in North-West Iran. This variety is also exported to other countries. However, for now, these exports volumes are small, says a local trader. Products that can also be found in abundance in the summer months are (dried) apricots and plums. As is the case with pistachios that are produced on a large-scale in the regions surrounding Teheran.

Peeled garlic is one of the bestsellers at the bazaar

Watermelons are one of the most important Iranian fresh fruit and vegetable products, in terms of consumption and cultivation volumes

Small-sized fruit
Also worth mentioning are the Iranian cherries (Zoghâlakhte) and grapes (angoor). These are grown in varions areas of the country. The Iranian trade is dominated by noticealby small fruit. This is in contrast to the predominantly large fruit in (Western) Europe. In particular, the grapes are the same size as an average redcurrant or blueberry. The red, as well as white grapes, are very sweet. In this regard, they are comparable to European grapes. Cherries, on the other hand, are not only consumed directly by the Iranians. They are often also used for making syrups and jams.

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