Friday, February 21, 2014

Last year around this time, we were crossing items off our bucket to-do list for Istanbul.

Included on my list was a Sunday visit to the Kastamonu Market (Pazar) held in the Kasımpaşa neighborhood close to the Golden Horn. This pazar is a foodie’s paradise – filled with all kinds of special produce and homemade goodies from the Black Sea coast of Turkey.

It took us nearly 3 years to visit this pazar!

On the weekends, we often found ourselves traveling or not willing to get our butts out of bed to find this market. You must arrive on the earlier side, say by 9 or 10 a.m., if you want to get the best goods.

And trust me, when I say it’s worthwhile to get your butt out of bed and find this special pazar!
The tomatoes seem so fresh and juicy that I could eat them like an apple. That half kilo of butter was probably just churned a few days ago.

You’ll find mounds of köy ekmeği and other village breads stuffed with spinach, other wild greens and cheese. Oh my!
Darling baskets of brown village eggs, which will be about as free-range as you can ever get!
And during the spring, you’ll find baskets and tables filled with edible, wild Turkish herbs and greens. I don’t even know what most of these greens are, but I wish I did! I did purchase a half of kilo of the alien-looking Turkish hodan (borage root), and sautéd it with garlic, onion and pul biber. From what I understand, most of these wild greens are used for filling in yummy börek.
Does anyone know what this Turkish green is?
It almost looks like tiny spring bulbs.
I believe this is Turkish hodan or borage root in English.
Just perusing my photos again makes me want to be at the Kastamonu Pazarı right now!

After you’ve had a feast for your eyes, buy some Turkish goodies such as cheese, olives, breads and dried fruits. Head across the street from the market to Sururi Park and have an impromptu picnic on the rocks by the waterfall. That’s exactly what we did!

Afiyet olsun!
How to get here:
The Kastamonu Pazarı is set up along Toprak Tabya Sokak (off of Bahriye Cad.) in Kasımpaşa. The closest bus stop is at Iplikçi Durağı, and you can try mapping out your journey here on IETT. Or simply grab a taxi from either Taksim or Karaköy. The market is only open on Sundays from 6 a.m.-4 p.m.

If you enjoyed my post, you might like these from 2 of my blogging friends in Istanbul:
Istanbul’s Very Own Black Sea Market! by Claudia of A Seasonal Cook in Turkey 

Inebolu Pazarı: Shop in Istanbul Like a Local by Olga of Delicious Istanbul
Homemade Turkish jams, pekmez and pickles at the Kastamonu Pazarı in Istanbul.

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Julia said...

It took you three years to get to Kastamonu market - and we've still never made it in all our trips to Istanbul. Dying to get there one day. Great pics. :)

Joy said...

@Julia, well 3 years seemed like an awful long time to me! ;-) Besides you guys visit TONS of Turkish pazarlar on your travels too.

Ozlem's Turkish Table said...

Such a glorious sight Joy, can't get enough of the pazar - beautiful photos! Cok selamlar, Ozlem

Joy said...

@Ozlem, evet, cok guzel! Enjoy your trip home in Istanbul! I'm counting down the days til my trip next month.

Unknown said...

What lovely pics, Joy!I love this pazar and thanks for the mention! What time of year did you visit? I don't know half those greens myself because I have never seen them! V interesting! In Turkey, making a börek is the most common way of handling these seasonal herby items :). I am actually waiting for the day when I make something with nettles which my little guy down the road has started displaying!

Joy said...

@Claudia, my photos are dated from March 10th last year. So I assume you'd be finding similar produce and greens either right now or very soon.

Funny enough, I had some wild nettles that started growing amongst my herb boxes here. I thought it was lemon balm until I tasted a leaf and spit it out bc my tongue was feeling numb. DO NOT eat nettles raw! :-)

BacktoBodrum said...

I'd love to find out what those bulbs are, I've never seen them before

Joy said...

@Annie so do I!

Libbie said...

I'm delighted to find this post. (I follow you with Bloglovin' and just read your latest about the market in Warsaw and it led me here. I am planning a 5-day visit to Istanbul next month and I love finding local markets. I hope I'll be able to find this one. It looks very interesting! Now I'm off to follow the links to your friends blogs.

Joy said...

Hi Libbie! I hope you are able to get to this market too! If you need any more Istanbul tips, please get in touch with me! Happy to help out! :-)