Friday, 17 October 2014

a holiday in the sun - part 2 (a visit to the market)

Today I am going to take you to the food market. I just love markets. I remember visiting markets in Italy as a child during our annual holidays. These were a treasure trove of cheap toys, leather bags, underwear and beachwear. I didn't pay much attention to food then, unless it was of the sweet variety. Later, as an adult, I visited markets in France during our camping holidays in Britanny. What I remember most vividly from those market visits is the abundance and variety of produce, some of it rarely seen and sold in Glasgow. We used to fill our car with wine, apricots and artichokes. Of course things have changed (I am reluctant to say improved), we can now buy apricots and other warm climate delicacies all year round. It is however a bittersweet joy, this produce travels far and at a great environmental cost. Fruit in particular often seems to go from unripe to rotten without being edible in between. I am speculating here but I am sure fruit and veg gets harvested and refrigerated so quickly that bruises from rough handling do only develop once the fruit is in my bowl warming to room temperature. 

I visited two markets during my holiday in Turkey, the Sunday market in Calis and the Tuesday market in Fethyie. It was hot but most of the market space was covered with cotton sails to keep the stalls in the shade. There were dozens if of stalls selling both food and non food items. I really love the mountains of peppers, tomatoes, okra and other vegetables. The variety was surprisingly small but I think it is the supermarket spoilt mind being fooled into thinking huge variety is normal. We are so used to buying everything all year round that seasonality often gets forgotten. I do try to buy local but unfortunately in Scotland in winter this often means a diet of cabbages, broccoli and root vegetables. We used to get an organic vegetable box and I remember thinking (come February) if I ever have to eat a parsnip again I will weep. I don't like parsnips. At the market, we bought plenty, and ate plenty. I particularly liked the salad my godmother made with freshly shelled and cooked borlotti beans, cooked carrots , lemon juice and olive oil. I was also very fond of the sweet peppers, those pointy ones that look a bit like oversized chilies. They didn't make me burp, unlike the varieties I get here.

There were so many nuts and seeds: cashews, pistachios, almonds, sunflower seeds, pumpkins seeds...  plain or salted, caramelised and sprinkled with sesame seeds, shelled or whole, you name it, there it was. There was also every permutation of dried fruit you can imagine. I brought home a bag of dried apricots and dried whole strawberries. The dried strawberries taste almost better than fresh ones, a marvellously intense strawberry flavour hits the palate after the first bite, transporting you right back to summer. I wasn't too taken by the dried avocado, if that what it was. (the label said so). The nice thing at the market was, that you are allowed, no encouraged to sample the food. The varieties of Turkish Delight was quite amazing, too. I prefer the "normal" kind, the one flavoured with rose water but there was apple and orange flavoured Turkish Delight, and many other flavours, too. I have a box stashed away in the kitchen cupboard for a winter treat.

Lastly, there were the dairy stalls with their bags full of fresh cheese. I assume they are ricotta type cheeses at various stages of maturity. The cheese we ate tasted a bit like feta but I am fairly sure it was made from cow's milk.

So much food makes hungry and thirsty. Market-goers are well catered for by numerous outlets, selling tea, coffee and Ayran, as well as pancakes. On each of the small tables is a jar of pickles. There were different kinds on each table, the one we had on our cheese filled pancake was pickled red cabbage. I wasn't too keen on that.

There is of course also lots of non food stuff on the market but I think I'll show you this another time, I need to get into the kitchen to cook for the crowds.

Have a great Friday night, and a lovely weekend, too!
Christina xx


  1. Oh my I am hungry now. I love photographing at markets the colours and textures are fantastic. Happy weekend Jo x

  2. Some wonderful photos, such a joy strolling around a market with all the different foods available. Have a great weekend.

  3. I agree about the challenge of seasonal diet in Scotland, I don't like buying summer fruits in winter, but I think if we were to only eat seasonal local veg in winter we would struggle a bit. Freezing and preserving are good options, and perhaps don't cost quite as many air miles? The Turkish markets look so colourful!

  4. Fabulous photos, Christina. I just love markets, particularly ones abroad. Those grapes are mesmerising. It's true that we get so used to seeing a wide variety of produce in supermarkets when it's not in season here. That has become the norm now. Have a good weekend xx

  5. Your photos bring back such good memories. When we lived in Izmir, Turkey our apartment was just across the street from an open air market and I bought all my fruit and vegetables there. So fresh, so good.

  6. what fantastic photos Christina. I love looking round markets (and food shops) on holiday. They always seem so much more exciting! You're so right about eating seasonally and the abundance of strawberries around at Christmas...I can live without parsnips too.

  7. So many amazing things!! I don't like the sound of dried avocado, I would have given that one a miss! The different Turkish delights look amazing though! xx

  8. Oh my goodness that market looks fabulous, such amazing things to try. I bet it was a feast for the eyes as well as a feast for your taste buds.

  9. Really interesting Christina - thanks for the tour! The large bags of cheese are a strange concept. Since food in grocery stores is packaged up so neat and tidy (I know that appearances are deceiving), open markets like this make me wary a bit. But I know that this food is probably much more fresh than what I would buy in the store.

  10. It's the smell of these markets that overwhelm my senses. Food doesn't seem to smell the same here. Probably as it's all refrigerated. I like guessing what things are. The boys are fascinated by the fish and Marc always buys something wierd that no-one will eat.
    Lovely vibrant photos.
    Leanne xx

  11. Now I'm suddenly ravenous! These markets are fantastic - we don't have anything like them here. I love Turkish delight too - when we were in Turkey for a holiday we bought some and kept it for Christmas. Funnily enough this became a tradition!! Not going to Turkey to buy it unfortunately - just getting it from M&S!


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