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).