The first photos howcases some very attractive melons (with more of a vine/leaf presence that melons generally do in the US); squash; beans; potatoes; and onions.
When I visited Turkey about 15 years ago, I went in March - a particularly cold March. I was a little startled that there was snow on the ground. I hadn't expected Istanbul to be colder than New York.
In those days Turkey did not import produce - that's probably no longer the case - so the produce selection was a bit limited. I recall that carrots were ever-present, along with grapes, specifically the most wonderful muscat grapes I've ever had.
Turkey has changed a lot since then, but I hope the muscat grapes are as good as ever.
Lol also snapped a picture of cherries, always of interest to me, sold alongside small green plums that were unfamiliar to her. As she wrote, "There was a fruit in Istanbul I hadn't had before - a kind of green plum that isn't sweet. It's not exactly sour, but it wasn't sweet."
Fortunately a sign explained it all:
Erik! Not just a man's name, it was a global phenomenon. I bought some plums, took them home and cut them up, and tried them with the requisite salt.
As I snacked, I googled "goje sabz" and found this heartfelt ode on the blog My Persian Kitchen:
Do you have any fond childhood memories that involve food? I do. Many. I always get that fuzzy feeling inside any time I see or taste something that I loved in my childhood. Everyone looked forward to when [gojeh sabz] were in season because every loves Gojeh Sabz. If you are Persian and you don’t like them, then there is something wrong with you. Can I be any more judgemental???!! Seriously….
Gojeh Sabz is actually sour plums which have not fully riped. They are sour and delicious! During this time of the year I buy them from our local Persian Grocery store. Much to my delight while I was at the Farmers Market in Torrance yesterday there was a vendor who was selling them. How awesome is that?I just stood in front of the tables and had a moment of happiness with me myself and I.The way we eat them is with a little pinch of salt. The combination of sour and salty is just out of this world good! It will make you giggle!!! All you have to do is take a little bite, then sprinkle a little salt, take another bite, another sprinkle of salt and another bite….next thing you know you have gone through a whole bunch of them, because they are just like potato chips.
I certainly understand how powerful food memories are. And yes, even produce inspires longing in the homesick. But are erik/gojeh sabz/janareng as addictive as potato chips?
They were okay, but not more than the sum of their parts. "Gee, this tastes like a salty, unripe plum," I thought. Since I had a little pile of salt remaining from Operation Appreciate Gojeh Sabz, I thought I'd experiment with another plum - a ripe one. Whaddaya know? I liked it better.
And it was even better without the salt.