Inebolu Market, Istanbul
I guess it will come as no surprise that I do a lot of research when travelling. Food specific research - where to eat, what to eat, all that jazz. I like to try and uncover places where locals go as, naturally, that's where the good stuff is. That's where you get the unaltered, unapologetic, untarnished flavours.
That's what we want. Ben and I had been incredibly successful in our Gözlemehunt, so the following morning we decided to search for more market goodness. I'd heard many good things about Inebolu market, a Sunday market in Beyoğlu's Kasimpaşa district where locals stock up on goodies from the Inebolu Black Sea region of Turkey (East of Istanbul). And so Sunday morning, we caught a cab to this unassuming street, our eyes (and bellies) eager for the plethora of produce awaiting us.
Look at those beauties!
The rows of bread were incredibly appealing to our ravenous, rumbling bellies. Apparently this recipe uses cornmeal, which gives the loaves a lovely yellow tinge. Naturally my market investigations into how the bread was produced fell short due to the language barrier. Nevertheless the stall owners were incredibly generous in offering samples and encouraging us to eat! We obliged.
Containers filled with cheese - white, crumbly and undoubtedly brilliant.
Milk and süzme (strained) yoghurt, in bulk. Ben reasoned with me that we did not need 1kg of yoghurt...I suppose he was right.
Buckets and buckets of dark sticky substances...I believed them to be tar. Ben believed this assumption to be ridiculous. We're still not certain what it was, possibly a thick jam of sorts?
Ben also reasoned that I did not need a basket of eggs. I maintain that this basket was super cute.
Beautiful fruits, dried and fresh...
Ok, time to shop...
We bought breads, tomato, beans, nuts and fruit, and had ourselves a little breakfast picnic with our gorgeous Turkish produce.
This bread stuffed with spring onions was lovely. It would be better warmed, but this taste was really yummy.
The supposed corn bread was filled with light air-pockets but had a density to it that made it quite tough to eat. I imagine it would be divine toasted and drizzled with honey.
This tomato was crazy good. So fresh and so clean.
The star of the show? These beans. These stunning, simple beans - just open, eat, and enjoy immensely. They tasted as fresh and inspiring as their brilliant colour.
This was the best dried fig I have ever eaten. So incredibly packed with sweet goodness, I found it a little overwhelming. When I fall, I fall hard. This was pure bliss to me.
A little tart plum never hurt anyone, now did it? This was mighty delicious.
And these mulberries? Well they tasted like candy. Straight-up candy.
What a treat, to be introduced to such divine produce and welcomed with friendly greetings and haphazard translation attempts. All natural, all fresh, all seasonal and incredibly healthy. Honestly, what more could you want? If only I had such a market right near my house.