Fresh Finds: Scenes from a Turkish Produce Market

Despite the frigid temperature and recent snowfall, the January produce market in Ankara, Turkey was bursting with fresh citrus, giant cabbages, and just baked bread. And just in case the photos don't do the goods justice, it was one of the most pristine markets I've visited. And don't even get me started on the pomegranates!

Every vegetable and piece of fruit had been cleaned of all unsightly outer leaves and dirt and sat in the displays ready to eat. In Ankara, Turkey's capital city, folks don't seem to need much visual reassurance that the produce in this market comes from the ground. Purveyors were proud of their bounty and sliced open squash, pomegranates, and tangerines to show them off and offer a taste. The prices were nothing to blink at, either. Juicy, fat pomegranates were 2.5 Turkish lira per kilo, or less than a dollar per pound. Gorgeous bright green skinny peppers were piled high next to persimmons and neatly trimmed bunches of leeks longer than my arm.

Housed in a covered but open air structure, the market in the Umitkoy/Cayyolu district of Ankara houses plenty of fresh produce, fish, and bread ranging from thick pita to homemade phyllo dough. Shoppers included business men and housewives, carrying on discussions with the purveyors about the freshness of the produce. Keeping with Turkish tradition, a man with a tray walked from stall to stall distributing glass tea cups filled with black tea to each of the vendors. Just lovely!

Related: Behold the Simit: A Very Crusty Turkish Bread

(Images: Stephanie Barlow)

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