We went to the market for the first time in over a month yesterday, we used to go every week but haven’t been recently for one reason or another – I was ill, we had plans with friends, it was too hot, etc. We normally wait for the Tuesday Fethiye market as it’s bigger, but we needed fruit and vegetables for this weeks meals, so we headed to the Sunday market in Calis instead.
I love the food on market days, we used to always go to one of the snack cafe’s inside to have a Turkish pancake for lunch, but we had leftovers from yesterday’s dinner today so we didn’t go there. I’ve written posts about our favourite market cafe food before, click HERE to read that.
We bypassed all the cafes and went straight to the fruit and vegetable stalls, this is where we buy all our weekly fruit and vegetables as it’s generally much cheaper than the supermarkets or small shops. Prices vary dramatically throughout the year for certain things, obviously it depends what is in season and what is not, for example – a month ago we got kiwi’s for 6tl per kg, now they’re 20tl per kg, that is one crazy price increase.
The colours you see in the market are so diverse, vibrant and fresh, from the multi-coloured spices to the pastel coloured Turkish delight and the bright fruits and vegetables. It all smells so good too, apart from the olive and cheese sections, I always hold my nose around both of those stalls…stinky.
I was surprised at how quiet the market was, there were very few tourists around at all, in fact I can’t recall seeing, or hearing any! We went around 5.30pm, perhaps it was too late? That’s another trick you quickly learn, shop in the early evening to take advantage of both the cooler air and the lower prices as people prepare to pack up their stock and go home. The atmosphere at the Calis market compared to the Fethiye one is very different – its less busy and there’s less of a sense of urgency, everyone is always in such a rush during the Tuesday one! There was even a cute fluffy dog just strolling around.
As well as all our fruit and vegetables we usually buy all our chicken here too, from the ‘ay pilic’ van which is our favourite place to buy from. They also sell eggs, but we usually avoid buying those here as the whole tray rarely survives the journey home, there are always a few casualties! My favourite thing about this stall is the fact is sells HP Sauce. This is the only ‘English’ item I regularly buy and insist on always having in my cupboard! I ran out a few weeks ago and we were waiting for pay day to arrive to restock my supply, so I was very pleased when I saw some on the shelf today! Last year they sold it for 4.5tl, now it’s gone up to 6.5tl (£1.85) , along with the beans. Who in their right mind would pay 6.5tl for a tin of baked beans? They’re not even Heinz! The price of imported goods has rapidly increased here. While we were at their van/stall I spotted a big bottle of sweet chili sauce and asked how much it was, 11tl they said (a good deal for the size of the bottle!). We only had enough money on us to buy this or the HP sauce, and of course the latter option won. “We’ll buy the other one next week” Berkay told them, “no, no, take it now, you can pay next week, we know you!” they said. Now this made my day, how kind and how trusting? People are always complaining about Turkish people ripping them off in resorts, and I don’t deny that that does happen, but some of them are so kind and really lovely, genuine people. It makes no difference to them whatsoever if we bought the sauce this week or next, yet they let us take it away anyway. They know us, we use them all the time, but that’s still a really trusting, nice thing to do.
Apart from food, of course there are other aspects to the market too – there are stalls selling clothes, shoes, belts, bags, toys, homewares, baby clothes, towels, sunglasses and an abundance of ‘genuine fakes’. I wrote about some of that in a previous post from last year, click HERE to read.
We ended up coming home with 1kg of chicken wings, 1 chicken breast, 2 chicken drumsticks, HP sauce, several kilograms of potatoes, tomatoes, onions, peppers, bell peppers, green beans, apples, pears, 2 garlic bulbs and one huge 8.6kg watermelon. (Ouch!) This will probably last us 7-10 days and all came to a total of 60tl or £17, which yes is cheaper than you’d pay in the UK, but please consider the wage differences here in Turkey, this is more than a days wages for Berkay.
When we lived at our old house, the bus route didn’t run along our road, so we had to walk for 15 minutes, that was never fun with several kilograms of fruit and vegetables (we certainly wouldn’t have been able to carry that massive watermelon!), so I’m thankful the bus now goes practically to our front door!
The markets are always worth a visit even if you don’t intend to buy anything, it’s a brilliant place to sit and enjoy a cool drink, a Turkish pancake and do some people watching too. (: