Market Day: A Turkish Delight!

Markets – a magical place!
Markets – a magical place!

July 21, 2009 — Ankara & Fethiye, Turkey

Boy, do I love markets! 

Not so much the shopping (although I do like to shop), but the beautiful display of foodstuffs. I think this probably has something to do with my family owning a small grocery store growing up, where I worked before and after (and sometimes instead of) school.

I worked every aspect of our neighborhood Pioneer Market alongside the rest of the fam: cutting meat in the butcher shop, making sandwiches in the deli, cleaning the produce, helping with bookkeeping, running the cash register, and forever “facing” the shelves.

Turkish Breakfast of Champions: tomatoes, cucumbers, feta cheese and olives.

Turkish Breakfast of Champions: tomatoes, cucumbers, feta cheese and olives.

Hence my sincere admiration for an orderly display of canned goods. Turkey’s markets have some of the richest displays of bounty. My favorite was a farmer’s market in Fethiye that we were lucky to visit on the one day of the week – Tuesday – that it was open. Here was clear evidence that Turkey is one of the few countries in the world that can easily feed itself.  

The most colorful sight was the barrels of spices.  Cumin – used in copious amounts in every Turkish dish – was just one spice alongside mounds of coriander, oregano, and mint. 

For Turks, cumin is the spice of life

For Turks, cumin is the spice of life

Seriously, I think Turks never met a spice they didn’t like, which leads to one of the locals’ favorite dishes: “spicy kebaps.”

Eat at your own risk.



Another national signature is Turkish Delight, which is called “lokum” (roughly translated as “lumps of goodness.”) 

Originating in the Ottoman Empire, it’s made out of corn starch and sugar syrup, then flavorings (like rosewater and lemon) are added, along with dried fruit and nuts. Pistachios are a particular favorite.

I brought back a box of “Harem Delight” for my co-workers since I work in an office of all women.




“Lumps” of Delight

Lumps” of Delight


Ever visit a cool global market? Tell me about it!

This entry was posted on Friday, August 14th, 2009 and is filed under Europe.

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