Last week I was happily out of Istanbul on Heybeliada, one of the fabled Princes Islands in the Sea of Marmara. We were on a photo trek and the day had been chosen because it was the island's weekly market day. We were so blessed with the weather and everything looked totally enchanting.
|Heybeliada pazarı, last Wednesday|
So it is getting quite confusing to track down what is truly seasonal. I only know because I have lived here such a long time, way before markets became interesting at all.
There is no way I am going to buy the vegetables that I have just listed above even though they look completely fine. It is just the wrong time of year for them.
Here's what you should be looking for:
|persimmons and pears|
|pumpkin - right in time for Hallowe'en|
|here come the root vegetables: celeriac|
|çintar mushrooms which look quite evil but are OK|
It was the same story: the market was bursting with produce and if you were a newcomer, you would be forgiven for thinking that it was an amazing paradise for fresh vegetables of all sorts.
|citrus fruits make their entrance around now: mandarines but not the time for oranges|
I bought a lot of stuff as I really had nothing in the fridge after my recent travels, including cauliflower and a red cabbage, both newcomers on the seasonal front. Oh I also bought some lovely small beetroots - I am a bit confused myself as to beetroots as you see them on and off throughout the year but these really did look appetising and I happen to love them.
I even saw barbunya/borlotti beans and figs! Not to mention red peppers. I know they are tempting and who knows, I may change my tune.
|the time to buy them is August|
And of course this month sees the grand re-entry of the ayva or quince, which will be around for some time now.
|they look beautiful: the sign says Real Bread Quince! i.e. can be eaten raw|
So enjoy your local pazar! The colours and the sheer abundance of the fruits and vegetables will intoxicate you!