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!