Before I came to Turkey, I didn’t know that I had entered into some variation of Eden. In Fethiye, fresh food abounds, but not only in markets, street corner stalls and larger chain grocery stores; the seeds of sustenance sprout up in city gardens. Chickens run amok, corn stalks shoot up, goats tend to unmowed grass, and fruit trees blossom in the unlikeliest places. Here, the trendy term locavore becomes a moot point. The mentality is a tribute to the richness of the land, which is justly infused in the culture; eat local, fresh, and seasonal. There isn’t another way.
In the summer months of July and August, I couldn’t have hit a better season for foraging. While hiking in Cappadocia, I’d pluck dangling apricots that were just-ripe from the trees. Grape vines hung heavy, dripping with fleshy, plump grapes. In turn, dotting the landscape with a bright and beautifully contrasting green.
In Fethiye, you can stroll down any street and discover at least one olive tree (among other fruitful blossoms) populating it. When I linger, almost everyday, I hover my hand above the lush, ripening fruits. In the city, I try not to take, even if it’s easy to spot not-yet-ripe pomegranates, juicy apricots, figs, plump peaches, apples, ample citrus, and more that lie in wait.
Photo note: I took a walk with my camera. The photos (apart from the first establishing shot of the Fethiye region and Cappadocia) are from my host home’s block. Here’s what I saw, ate and took joy upon. The Turks, like the land, are replete with giving.