I had about 40 minutes before work yesterday to stop at the local market in western Turkey. It's a typical European market with lots of fruit, vegetables and spices and all manner of things for the home.
My friend Courtney describes what we saw as produce on steroids. They were all so brightly colored and beautifully gathered. You'll find a lot of eggplant at the market, which originated in Turkey and many still consider a work of culinary art.
Turkish cuisine is very healthy with lots of low calorie sauces, tons of spices and heaping helpings of high quality produce. It's a fun place to be if you like to cook...
My favorite part of the market were the rows and rows of gorgeous textiles. Many are polyester/cotton textiles used for bedding, table linens, pillows, blankets, curtains, towels, cushions, you name it. Turkey grows its own cotton and the gorgeous color combinations you'll find are a homage to patterns made years and years ago by Turkish women- the vintage pieces. These are more prized however, for being both modern and machine washable.
I ended up buying a few of these in various textures, one perhaps made of a very soft bamboo that I really love. The total cost was 20 lira, a little over $10. There are so many vendors, there's room to bargain.
Turkish cotton is a premium cotton with extra long fibers which results in a much stronger and smoother product. The best part is, their textiles get even more soft and cozy the more you wash them.
Turkey is among the top three suppliers of towels in the world. In fact, the 'turkish towel' is gaining momentum in the design industry and many of you may have already seen posts about them on various blogs. They are superior to Egyptian cotton towels as they are a perfect mix of softness and absorbency. The Egyptian variety are actually too absorbment, leaving the towel wet long after use.
Colorful Turkish ceramics and teapots are popular in every shop and market here. There is a ton of history behind these beautifully made pieces...enough to inspire me to do a little research on my next day off.
I love little spoons. They are popular everywhere in Europe as espresso spoons and 'little spoon' is my favorite word in Itailian- cucchiaino. So I bought a set of 12 for less than $2. Fun...
I loved the variety of fedoras I found at this market...
Overall, it was a well used 40 minutes. I can't wait to go back when I have even more time. Have any of you been to Turkey? Recommend things to try, to see?
Photos and Content: Sweet Peach