The Bodrum farmers' market on Fridays. Photos by David Lansing.
My favorite thing to do, no matter where I am, is to go to the local farmers’ market. Everyone has one, right? And you see things there that you won’t see anywhere else. So this morning I asked Sidar if there was a farmers’ market somewhere around Bodrum and he said, Of course.
“There is the one in Güvencirlik on Monday, and the one in Ortakent on Wednesday, and yesterday there was one in Bitez.”
“So there are no farmers’ markets on Fridays?”
“Of course,” he said. “Right here. In Bodrum. Do you want to go?”
This is how it goes with Sidar. He loves to yank my chain.
An artichoke farmer at the Bodrum market explains the health benefits of enginars to me. Photo by David Lansing.
So this afternoon, after lunch, we went to the farmers’ market which is held in a big covered building , sort of like an indoor parking garage, in downtown Bodrum. It was fantastic. The first thing that caught my attention was the guy selling small artichokes. They came with a foot or more of their stems and were piled stylishly in a mound. Using Sidar as a translator, I asked the farmer how Turks normally prepare artichokes. He said that they are usually poached in olive oil, sometimes with fava beans, almonds, and tomatoes, but with these artichokes, he would recommend slowly simmering them in water along with their stems and then drinking the soup. Very good for the kidneys and liver, he said. And also for other ailments. Like indigestion or ladies’ curse.
Well, I don’t have to worry about that. But I thought it was an interesting way for the guy to market his purple-tinged artichokes (called enginars in Turkish)—as a holistic health cure. I could just imagine a sign in my local supermarket back home indicating that not only were artichokes on sale for a dollar a piece this week but if you made a broth from the stems, it might take care of your cramps. Just imagine.