March – April 2015: Istanbul
Monday was market day but I wasn’t able to go for multiple reasons. After a very up and down week weather wise, Wednesday dawned fine and clear and I resolved to pay a visit to my local organic market which is also in Selami Çeşme but on a much smaller scale than the regular pazar.
|my local organic market in Özgürlük/Freedom Park, Selami Çeşme|
I do know people who are weekly faithfuls; I have been a couple of times but that’s all. It didn’t draw me and I am not enough of an organic enthusiast to go every Wednesday. Up until recently, I have always thought that the benign climate and the fertile soil were enough to ensure beautiful vegetables: now, with changing agricultural methods, I am not so sure.
But anyway, this time I went. The sun was shining and there was a hint of spring in the air. There were again the same relatively limited number of stalls there with a lot of dried products eg flour, pulses all proudly bearing their organic stamp.
The fresh produce looked very sad, I have to say. You know how organic vegetables look – small, hoary, faded, wizened. And it was all very much the winter stuff: the carrots, the leeks, the celeriac. There was nothing here that screamed SPRING IS COMING! I’m afraid compared to the regular market, this was a non-starter in terms of colour and vibrancy.
|‘pink’ village tomatoes – I bought some just to see what they were like but was disappointed: still too early, organic or not|
|a box of organic broad beans/bakla|
The markets at this time of year should be full of exciting seasonal change and I am sure all down the Aegean coast, for example, there must be some marvellous ot or herbs/greenery such as we don’t see in Istanbul. All the organic market could produce that was remotely springlike was nettles!
So organic leaves me a bit cold, I have to say. The only organic product I really believe in is eggs and I regularly buy organic here or village/köy when we are in Assos. Those eggs are fantastic with glorious bright yellow yolks and a taste to match.
|organic eggs from Manisa laid at an altitude of 1250 metres!|