A new feature for Oceanwide Properties News, Fethiye in Season is a weekly post celebrating the wonderful array of seasonal foods, fruits and vegetables available around Fethiye. Our idea is to highlight not only what is in season each week, but also give you suggestions on how to incorporate it in some of our favourite Turkish recipes, bringing it straight to your table.
It’s easy for us to forget how lucky we are living in our properties in Turkey and having access to such a wide variety of fresh, organic and reasonably priced produce. Supermarkets like Sainsbury’s and Tesco’s in the UK now import the majority of their fresh produce from around the world meaning that most items are available on the shelves year around. Although convenient, it’s a shame in some ways as the UK, USA and many other European countries have become pretty much season-less, only by visiting farmers markets or farm shops do you get a true idea of what is in season, and normally you pay through the nose for the privilege.
Luckily, Turkey is the opposite. There is an abundance of travelling weekly markets. Each town and most villages have their own weekly pazar selling all manner of fruit and vegetables, most also selling clothing, household items, jewelry and souvenirs (in tourist areas).
The open market days around Fethiye are as follows:
- Monday – Hisaronu Market Square (near Ovacik and Oludeniz), small fruit and veg section, the rest clothes and tourist items
- Tuesday – Fethiye Central Market Square, the region’s largest and main open market selling all manner of cloths, tourist souvenirs, household good and also street food
- Wednesday – Yaniklar, very small produce market with just a few stalls
- Thursday – Ciftlik Village Centre, mainly fresh produce
- Friday – Uzumlu Centre and also the Local Farmers Market in Fethiye market square selling fruit and vegetables from small traders
- Saturday – Patlangic and Karaculha Markets, selling fresh produce, household goods and some clothing
- Sunday – Calis, Gunlukbasi, Camkoy and Gocek, household, clothes, fruit and vegetables.
It is obvious on a trip to any of these Pazar’s exactly what is in season at any given time – what’s even better, the prices are astonishingly cheap. One week you wander along the tarpaulin covered aisles and notice stalls heaped high with cauliflowers or pine mushrooms, the next you see fresh runner beans on the tables for less than a pound per kilo. Another trip you can’t escape the spinach and strawberries, another it will be aubergines, fresh garlic or cactus fruit. As a good Turkish chef friend says, “if you want to eat well and on a budget, eat like the locals. Buy what’s in season and organise you menu and family dinners around it“.
So that brings us to this week’s highlight…fresh apricots!
There’s no better way to kick off our first Fethiye in Season post than by highlighting apricots… those sweet, golden fruits, packed full of vitamin C and beta-carotene, hard to escape this week around Fethiye. One of the first signs of summer, their velvety skin and, not too juicy but smooth and musky, make them the perfect healthy snack or addition to your fruit platter.
Health benefits of Apricots.
- Apricots are great source of dietary fibre so excellent for your digestive health, also around half of the fibre present in an apricot is soluble meaning it can help control your cholesterol.
- Researchers in the US believe a daily serving of apricots can help protect eyesight from age related damage? Apparently lutein, present in apricots, helps protect the retina.
- A single apricot contains 4-5 grams of catechins, a dietary source that helps inhibit the activity of the enzymes that cause inflammation.
So, what can you do with apricots? Here’s a simple recipe for Turkish Apricot Compote, great served alongside bulgur and rice dishes, or simply enjoyed with some fresh bread.
Kayisi Kompostosu (Apricot Compote)
8 fresh apricots, peeled, pitted and cut into slices
1/3 cup sugar
2 cups water
1/2 tsp almond or vanilla extract
Roasted, flaked almonds and mint spring for garnish
Method: Wash, peel and slice apricots and pop in a saucepan. Sprinkle the sugar over them evenly, cover and leave to stand for an hour. Add the water and almond/vanilla extract and bring to the boil allowing sugar to dissolve. Turn the heat down and simmer for 20 minutes until apricots are soft. Turn off heat and gently pour into a bowl to cool. Place in fridge until chilled. To serve add roasted almond slices and garnish with a mint sprig.
If you know of any other apricot recipes or local markets we should mention, please comment. To follow Oceanwide Properties News posts, please sign up for our alerts via email on the right…and don’t forget to check out our main website, Oceanwide Properties, for our current property listings!