Sunday, March 6, 2011

(We've figured out a way that I can access Blogger so I can keep writing in Turkey. Cheers!)

On Saturdays, we often walk to the pazar in Beşiktaş to stock up on local produce.

As I've mentioned before, the pazar is a fast-paced blur of the saticilar shouting at you and around you and quickly weighing produce and customers milling about everywhere. It's a bit like going to a farmer's market and flea market in one. It's a bit overwhelming for the senses, but I wouldn't have it any other way.

Yesterday, we barely had walked past two stalls before I saw a table overflowing with kanlı portakal or blood oranges. I couldn't believe my eyes! Who knew I would find blood oranges in Turkey!

Jason had to pull me away from the table because he wanted to buy the heavy items last. That didn't stop me from drooling for a second or two.

In the restaurant business, I would eagerly await blood orange season because they were so colorful and flavorful to use in my winter desserts. The juice makes a tasty sorbet. 

In the U.S., blood oranges are typically imported from Sicily, Italy, but now you can find ones grown in California and Florida too. They are only available for a short time - usually December to early March.

In Turkey, I have to assume these kanlı portakal are grown down along the southern coast by the Mediterranean Sea where most of the country's citrus is grown. According to the Hurriyet Daily News, the Antalya province produces about 20 percent of all citrus in Turkey. The major crop is oranges and about 30 percent of all oranges produced in Turkey are from this region. Izmir is the leading citrus producing province in the Aegean Region; about 5 percent of all citrus grown in Turkey is from this province.

You can read more about the history of blood oranges here.

After buying tomatoes, roka, cucumbers, lettuce, carrots, beyaz peynir, black olives and mandalina, we stopped by the stand to buy the kanlı portakal. Two kilos of the blood oranges cost only 3 lira. Amazing price! So basically, we purchased a little over 4 pounds of blood oranges for $1.88 USD. You can't even buy regular oranges at this price!
That's certainly one of the joys of living here - most of the produce is very inexpensive, fresh and local. I love it!

This morning, Jason assembled a Turkish breakfast for us with sliced cucumbers and tomatoes, black olives, beyaz peynir, hard-boiled eggs and toast. We also decided to test our new super juicer we recently purchased.

The blood orange juice was sweet, a little tart, and a beautiful sunset-colored orange.

Next time, I need to buy extra kanlı portakal so I can use some of the juice to jazz up my desserts.

Afiyet Olsun!

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Sippy Cup Central said...

I love blood oranges...they had them in Italy from November until about March. Yum, Karen

Julia said...

I love it when the blood oranges are cut in half on the pazar so that you can see the centre of them...and I always stop to look at them and want to buy them...and then I have to remind myself that I just don't like them! I wish I did. They look so lovely. :)