Fresh food in January

One of the things we like best about living in Turkey is the year-round availability of locally produced, straight from the field, fresh fruit and vegetables.  No air miles to concern us – the worst we have to worry about is tractor miles and we do try to favour strictly local produce.  It is also extremely cheap – there were tomatoes on the market today at 2 lira a kilo – they look very good and are almost good enough for salad (we are fussy about our tomato salads).  They are juicy and fine for cooking.  The spinach and the sprouting broccoli are currently at their finest.  We think the cauliflowers might get better again by Wednesday.  There were strawberries on some stalls claiming to be local, but we didn’t try them.  We were more tempted by the lovely blood oranges.

On the market we can also buy very cheap eggs (not had a bad one yet but we go a bit upmarket at 3 lira for 11), locally produced honey, cheese of several kinds, thick yoghurt, olives, herbs and spices, and all manner of dried fruit and vegetables.

We do believe that it’s possible to eat very cheaply here – provided one does not eat a lot of red meat and provided one enjoys cooking.  We do spend quite a lot of time preparing olive oil dishes (which last in the fridge for 3-4 days provided you don’t eat them all up before then).  It is true that red meat is expensive.  We miss affordable lamb, but the dana et is good and the chicken excellent (and so cheap they almost pay you to eat it).

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4 responses to “Fresh food in January

  1. It ıs true that it’s possible to eat cheaply here..I should know….I am renowned for the number of meals I can make from one chicken! The Turks in general don’t eat a lot of meat. You’ve probably noticed that the recipes in Turkish cook books use very small quantities of meat. Like you, ı always buy what’s in season and avoid anything that might be imported.

    • Hmmm. A smallish whole chicken lasts us three days main meals, and quite a lot of soup! We’ve never been people who eat a large amount of meat on a regular basis.

  2. Ha! Only yesterday, I bought a portion of chicken to cook chicken stock. Being used to the almost meatless carcasses sold in my previous country, I was pleasantly surprised to see some meat on the bones. I stopped eating chicken a while ago due to the poor quality back in Europe, but now I am thinking to recosinder that decision. However, I am still a lamb freak and find myself in lamb paradise… well, the paradise not for the lambs, I guess.

    • We do buy a lot of chicken. We find it’s very good (and cheap). The lamb is lovely, but very, very expensive. We have not had much luck trying to cook the cheaper cuts.

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