Er Cocomeraro, The Watermelon Man

25 Jun

Fruit salad

Continuing with our tour of Rome’s summer delights, I give you “Er Cocomeraro.”

Those of you with a diploma in Roman dialect will know that in Rome, “er” is the way you say the article “il” — and here in Rome you’re more likely to hear the word “cocomero” used for watermelon instead of “anguria” — which I almost never hear used. However, when I’ve said “cocomero” (pronounced co-CO-meh-ro) in places outside of Rome, I’ve been asked “what?” I don’t know if it’s more typical in Rome or not.

In any case, summer in Rome is definitely marked by the proliferation of these fruit stands selling slices of watermelon, but often little fruit salads with watermelon and canteloupe and/or coconut and strawberries as well.

My local “cocomeraro” (watermelon man?) was kind enough to let me take his picture:


The slices cost just €1 while the fruit salads are a bit pricier at €2,50. But sometimes when it’s really hot, and there’s no grattachecca stand in sight, these fruit stands can be a welcome back-up. Just don’t go having any seed-spitting contests!


And now that I’ve got you craving watermelon, if you can’t make it to Rome to visit a cocomeraro yourself, hop on over to Sara’s delectable post on how to make your very own watermelon sorbetto granita! (No, we didn’t both plan to post on watermelon today… but it works out quite conveniently!)


19 Responses to “Er Cocomeraro, The Watermelon Man”

  1. Sara, Ms. Adventures in Italy June 25, 2007 at 9:51 am #

    We are getting scary together…I didn’t plan today’s post with Shelley!

  2. Shelley, At Home in Rome June 25, 2007 at 10:10 am #

    See what happens when expats from blogs connect in real life… their brains start to meld into one and they ESP the subjects of their posts to each other without even talking about it… (cue Twilight Zone music)

  3. sognatrice June 25, 2007 at 11:44 am #

    Um, I ate and took photos of cantelope this morning…am I on the wavelength too? Please? A proposito “cocomero” is the word of choice down here as well. I’ve only heard “anguria” on TV.

  4. KC June 25, 2007 at 1:06 pm #

    That looks so refreshing! We say cocomero around here, too. I think it’s the cuter word.

  5. jessica in rome June 25, 2007 at 2:00 pm #

    That looks good! Have you seen some of the fruit stands along the sides of really busy roads? I just can’t bring myself to buy anything that’s been soaking up car smog all day. It seems wrong even if it is a WHOLE case of strawberries for 2 euro. So I usually wait until we are either in our ‘hood or in a piazza in the center. Your cocomeraro looks friendly and smog free!

  6. Sherry June 25, 2007 at 3:10 pm #

    Boy that looks so good! Somehow food it Italy, even in pictures, looks way more scrumptious that what I have here in the States. Yum!

  7. Melba June 25, 2007 at 3:45 pm #

    What a fun and interesting blog you have here!
    I found you from your comment at create a Connection. I just added you to the side bar of Creative Bloggers.

    Nice to meet you!
    Have a Happy Summer!


  8. nyc/caribbean ragazza June 25, 2007 at 3:57 pm #

    That looks so good. I am going to check Sara’s blog.

  9. Jeff June 25, 2007 at 3:59 pm #

    Down here we use “cocomero” for a cucumber and not just any cucumber it’s light green sometimes almost round instead of cucumber shaped and it’s hairy.
    It looks strange but it’s good.

  10. Shelley, At Home in Rome June 25, 2007 at 5:57 pm #

    Sognatrice: OF COURSE you can be in on the wavelength! What were the melone pictures for?

    KC: Agreed, agreed…

    Jessica: Never bought from those stands, but you have a very good point about the smog… a little iffy… the ones in my neighborhood are fairly removed from that, being in little piazzas around Trastevere.

    Sherry: Yes, Italy does seem to have that effect on things… beautifying them… hope it’s had that effect on me, too… Ha!

    Melba: Ciao! Benvenuta! I’m excited about the swap, should be fun and is similar to one I do in October called the City Swap.

    NYC: Let me know if you make the watermelon sorbetto from Sara. It looks molto yummy.

    Jeff: Two words for you: hairy cucumbers? You Pugliese are just strani, you know that? Kidding, kidding… but I believe a picture is in order. This is almost as intriguing as the man bag. *Almost*

  11. sandi @ the whistlestop cafe June 25, 2007 at 7:48 pm #

    Thank you for the lesson in Italian~ or Rome-en-esk. Now off to check the watermelon sorbet~>

  12. Paolo June 25, 2007 at 7:50 pm #

    Hi Shelly , can you take me one of these cold stuff down here in Sicily?? We are dying from the Heat, 45C all day long. Didn’t you have the scirocco wind in Rome?? Scirocco is an hot wind from Africa for those who don’t know about it.

  13. Sierra June 25, 2007 at 9:51 pm #

    I made myself a fruit salad for lunch with watermelon in it today. Does that count as being on the same wavelength 🙂

  14. Shelley, At Home in Rome June 26, 2007 at 11:26 am #

    Sandi: Yes, always happy to help with romanesco, romanaccio, etc…

    Paolo: Mamma mia, poverino! I know in Sicily it’s really bad right now. We have been dying here in Rome too. Thank goodness today it’s a bit cloudy and overcast…but still very hot and humid.

    Sierra: Ok, you are in on the wavelength too. Monday Melon Day.

  15. Ilaria June 26, 2007 at 2:58 pm #

    We say anguria in Milan. 🙂

  16. Carla June 26, 2007 at 11:15 pm #

    well, I’m really enjoying this blog of yours!

    In any case “cocomero” is used mostly in the south of Italy while in the north we use the word “anguria”


  17. bob oppedisano July 11, 2007 at 7:35 pm #

    In Calabria ma probabilemente altrove nel sud, it’s also called, in a far more provincial way,
    zippangolo, or zippangulu, or melone rosso.

  18. Jackie July 15, 2007 at 8:35 am #

    we also say cocomero, but i have heard that macerata dialect is much like roman dialect (although we don’t say ‘er’ for ‘il’). lovely photo–makes me want a watermelon now!!! no such watermelon stands here in macerata :(.

  19. Cinzia August 3, 2007 at 1:23 pm #

    1964, our relatives came to visit from Bolzano. Our uncle took us for a “fetta di cocomero” after dinner. My cousin (we were 6 then, sigh) was so disappointed: “But that’s Anguria, I thought Cocomero was some kinf of strange fruit!!”

    I myself had never heard of Anguria before, Italy!!

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