Kisa Boutique

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Turşuci=The pickle man

foodemily kisa2 Comments

My love of pickles stretches my whole life. My grandpa used to make pickles from his garden's cucumbers and dill(side note about how fun it was to race pickle boats we had carved from the huge overgrown cucs). I loved creeping down the basement stairs to peek at the process, picking the plate up of the huge crock and checking if they were ready yet. One of my in-laws told me that we are having a girl since I have been craving lots and lots of salty, vinegary turşu. In Turkey there are whole little stores dedicated to the art of pickled this and pickled that. It is a dying art though since many shops have switched to Turşu fabrikası, factory pickles. But I am trying to not let that ruin it for me...

We have been in Istanbul for a few days now, exploring this dirty, crazy, crowded city that I do love. Çağlar's auntie lives in the heart of Beşiktaş, an amazing location for exploration. We kept walking by the pickle shop with it's bright colors and preserved veggies. I am so impressed by how many things they decide to pickle in Turkey and even more excited that you can go into the shop and buy a cup full of turşu water and a sampling of the delights. There are 4 types of peppers, cabbage both white and red, cucumbers is all different sizes, tomatillos, carrots, green tomatoes, garlic, olives, eggplant, squash, beets and dolmas. Mini cucs will forever be my favorite but the white cabbage and the beets are tied for a close second.

The pickle man was quite a chatter and asked us if we wanted it spicy or not. We decided for the middle. He filled the glass with a beautiful assortment of colors and textures then topped it off with turşu water and spicy red pepper paste for the kick. People drink the pickle water often here, I think it's great. It reminded me of a bloody mary minus the vodka and tomato juice of course. Mmmm, I miss those things. I notice they never add dill although there is tons of it in Turkey? Also does anyone know about the canning process? They never can things here. It sits in plastic or glass unsealed brewing on the floor in the corner. Any thought on this? Now although this was a factory made pickle shop I still love the idea of these colorful little stores dedicated to the art of the pickle...yummmmers! I am on a quest for the best shop now that I realize you can go into the stores and just order a cup of pickle water with all the fixings.