The pickle shops of Turkey fascinate me. Colourful window displays of jars of pickled fruits and vegetables tempt me inside. Pickles (turşu in turkish) grace the table with many turkish meals so these shops and the pickle stalls at the markets are very popular.
In Cihangir, Asri Turşucu is one such shop. They have been selling pickles since 1913 but they have only been in this shop since 1938. They grow their own vegetables in Bursa using spring water from the area as well as lemon juice and salt to pickle the vegetables. The quality of the pickles is important so the shop closes over the summer months from June to the beginning of September.
Wonderful square shaped glass boxes in the counter hold an interesting selection of pickles such as beetroot, gherkins, peppers, tomatoes, garlic and cabbage and the not so usual pickled broccoli and green plums called erik. Anything that can be pickled, will be! There is no escaping the scent of pickle that fills the air.
Kelek are unripe melons with not a lot of sweetness but you would never guess this when trying them pickled. We also tried pickled green beans, beetroots and stuffed eggplants. It was here I was introduced to turşu suyu or pickle juice, a drink I might have to get used to! It’s supposed to be very good for you but….
There are other goodies for sale at Asri Turşucu. Bottles of olive oil decorate the counter. We’re told that the salça, a home made tomato puree is very popular and judging by the large vats of vine leaves dotted around the shop, these are a top seller as well.
I’m interested to know if you have tried pickle juice…did you like it?
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