Turkish markets – from A(pples) to Z(ucchinis)

Visit a local Turkish market – You’ll never go hungry!Everyday, in a suburb somewhere in Istanbul, a weekly street market is being held. One of the one of the many traditions brought to the big city from small towns and villages, vibrant, crowded, noisy Turkish markets persist, despite the increasing number of supermarkets opening up every year. Trucks loaded with produce criss-cross the city before light to take up any parking spaces available. Ropes are slung over handy light poles, nearby balconies and shop front grilles so canopies can be raised overhead. Underneath, stall after stall piled high with fresh produce line the streets, and the neighbourhood becomes a frenzy of housewives doing the weekly shopping.

Turkish pickles – what colour would you like?At a Turkish market you buy by the kilo and not by the piece. Everything is seasonal and almost all of it is grown in Turkey. There are plump ripe peaches from Bursa, gorgeously juicy oranges from Demre and brilliantly red tomatoes from Çannakkale. My favourite season is spring where for a brief six week window I can buy brilliantly shiny red Napoleon cherries for only a few dollars a kilo. Strawberries are equally cheap and I still get a thrill when I swing my bag of sweetness from side to side on the walk home, knowing I can gorge myself silly and then go back for more.

Try Turkish salca, it’ll add a zing to any dish!The vendors at Turkish markets vary from smiling fresh faced youths to surly older men dirtied by stubble and years of handling the soil. “Don’t touch” they’ll bark if your hand hovers too close to delicate fruits but they’re quick to offer you a slice to try. “It’s fresh” they’ll say, “It’s cheap” they’ll call, “Buy it now” they’ll yell, vying for the business of women who will pounce when there’s a bargain but hang back if the price is too high. Everywhere you look the colours dazzle, and the cries of the vendors mix with the pungent smell of fresh fruit, vegetables, homemade pickles, spicy pastes, dried fruits and nuts. As you walk along, distracted by what’s on offer, you have avoid men rushing past swinging trays of tea, old men offering to carry your shopping for a fee and an army of trolley wielding shoppers. It’s exhilarating and exhausting and not to be missed.

Turks love to eat nuts day and night.If you want to experience more everyday life in Istanbul and Turkey, read my book “Inside Out in Istanbul: Making Sense of the City”.

Share Button

About Goreme1990

I’m Lisa Morrow, the person behind www.insideoutinistanbul.com. I was born in Sydney, Australia and grew up a leafy middle class North Shore suburb. After finishing high school I went to Sydney University but failed to find my niche. After working as a public servant, cleaner, sales assistant, waitress, bar maid and car counter, I went overseas. Once there I hitchhiked through the UK, travelled in Europe and arrived in Turkey just as the Gulf War was starting. My three months stay in the small central Anatolian village of Göreme changed my life. On my return to Australia I earned a BA Honours Degree in Sociology from Macquarie University. An academic career beckoned but the call to travel was louder. After several false starts I moved to Turkey and lived there for ten years. In 2017 I moved to Lisbon, Portugal, but continue to travel regularly to Istanbul. In addition to my blog I've written a travel narrative memoir called "Waiting for the Tulips to Bloom: Adrift in Istanbul" and two collections of essays, "Inside Out In Istanbul: Making Sense of the City" and "Exploring Turkish Landscapes: Crossing Inner Boundaries". I have a regular segment on San Francisco Turkish radio and in early 2017 I released an audio walking tour called "Stepping back through Chalcedon: Kadikoy Walk", through VoiceMap. In addition I write for various international and Australian magazines and websites, as well as for this blog. A full list of my published articles, with links, can be found on the Writing on Turkey and Writing Beyond Turkey pages.
This entry was posted in Food, Living in Turkey and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Turkish markets – from A(pples) to Z(ucchinis)

  1. Brian Mooy says:

    This brings back many memories of our trip through rural Turkey the year of the 75th anniversary of the republic. We were lucky to be in Canakali{?} on the very day, so many sailors and troops we had never seen before! We ate very well in the “outback” towns and villages due to the markets. Happy days. Brian and Yvonne MOOY

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *