My Turkish friend Ilgen kindly took us foodies to the Turkish market in Cheam, England (for the ones nearby the area, the address is: 565-567 London Road, SM3 9AG, North Cheam) and what a find. If you live abroad and look for local ingredients of your homeland, you know what I mean. And this market has it all; wonderful looking fresh produce, spices, Turkish cheese, olive, olive oil, red pepper paste, grains, freshly baked bread, pastries and many more!
Look at these amazing artichokes! You can turn them into something very delicious with this Baby Artichokes Poached in Olive Oil with Broad Beans and Carrots recipe I posted earlier.
Turkish cuisine is based on using fresh ingredients bought daily. The Turks are purists in their culinary taste; their dishes bring out the flavor of the main ingredient rather than hiding it behind sauces. For instance, these cherry tomatoes would be divine in a simple sauce of olive oil, crushed garlic and a few olives, as in this pasta recipe I posted earlier.
Back to the Turkish market again. These are fresh, ripe hurma (a type of date); so sweet and juicy; peel, slice and eat as it is, simply brings back many childhood memories.
How about these mouthwatering cherries, they are so inviting!
And spices; we can’t do without them, a great, healthy way to add flavour to any dish. Sumac, red pepper flakes, ground black pepper, cumin, dried mint; all major spices in Turkish cuisine.
Last but not least the bakery in the market; I felt I was in heaven. Smells simply guide you to the bakery and your eyes confirm that yes, this is heaven. Mouthwatering simits coated with sesame seeds (here is my version of simit, if you’d like to try), sweet and savory pastries, flat breads and more; a feast to the eye. The savory pastry with cheese filling, pogaca, was lovely. If you like to make this savory pastry using fillo pastry, here is my version.
Finally; the friendly baker who filled us with delicious goods. You can create many delicious, wonderful meals using only a few fresh ingredients. I hope the recipes can give you ideas and inspire. They are easy, healthy and can be ready in no time.
Happy Cooking, Afiyet Olsun!