Market Fantasy

I couldn’t stop myself from entering every single shop along this quarter-mile stretch of market on Istanbul’s Asian side in Kadikoy. Eggplant, chile, mulberry, and okra hung like treasured jewels from the entryway of shops that, on the inside, boasted baskets full of plump apricots, hazelnuts, and dried figs. And then there were the grape leaves, soaking in brine, fanning themselves with their jagged edges, beckoning someone to roll them tight with fresh herbs and rice. The vendor next door stacked bundles of rosy radishes in between rows of fanciful lettuce leaves. ¬†Artichoke hearts rested patiently next to chives, parsley, lemons. This playful description simply models the mood I felt upon seeing such beauty-the produce just as much as its artful display.

I scooped up some dried fruits and nuts into a little brown bag and munched my way through the market, dreaming of what might be stuffed into the purple eggplant shells, wondering how to prepare the dried okra.

It wasn’t that the fruits and veggies on display today were foreign to me. I already knew their names and faces. My wonderment came from the novelty of seeing them through a new frame. Their use, their look, their taste: they were alive with endless possibility.

Day 13 of 30; Postcards from Turkey

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~ by maureenmoore on July 21, 2013.

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