Street markets in Istanbul: My local pazar

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Goztepe markets as night falls

I’d love to start this post by writing that I go to my local market in Göztepe in Istanbul every Monday but I can’t. My husband’s the one who goes. He’s known to the vendors as the Turkish looking foreigner (his mother was Italian) who buys the food for his family, rejects any apples, strawberries or tomatoes that aren’t perfect as expertly as any Turkish housewife, and can’t ever be talked into buying rock hard avocados. I only go when the mood takes me, and usually pay more attention to what I can photograph than what I can eat. Unless of course it’s cherry season.

Over the years the produce on sale has remained largely the same, but on my most recent visit I noticed a distinct change in the displays. Oranges have always been stacked in artful pyramids and eggplants piled in glossy castle defence towers, but the bar has definitely been lifted.

Monet inspired ponds of enginar (artichokes)
Dali yaprak (vine leaves) unfurled
Rothkoesque squares of zeytin (olives)
Spicy Seurat themed kısır (finely ground bulgur mixed with tomato paste and parsley)
Yumurta (eggs) Mondrian still life
Kuşkonmaz (asparagus) just waiting for Leger to come and cook, sorry, paint them.
Bouquets of sarmısak (garlic) Matisse would have been proud to exhibit

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