Friday, March 29, 2013

The Istanbul Spice Market

Turkey is well known for the quality and variety of spices both locally grown and imported. A unique outlet for them is an open air market in the Old Town section of Istanbul. Last night we visited the Spice Market after dinner nearby.

Most of the Spice Market booths are a feast for the eye as well as the palate.


Are my eyes deceiving me?  Did someone slip in a candy stand?

Turkey is well known for Biber Salcasi, a red pepper paste made from chills and salt.

Some spices are sold in larger pieces, often strung together.

We were invited into one vendor's special "back room," for a cup of apple tea and a chance to see his special stock.  Half an hour later, we left poorer, but with 5 grams of saffron in my pocket and a half liter of apple tea in Irene's backpack.

We resisted the urge to buy jasmine, as well.

The route in and through the Spice Market is so narrow that deliveries are made the old fashioned way.

Olives may not be spices, but they are sold in the Spice Market.

To be honest, I must say that many other nonspice vendors have found heir way into the Spice Market; so, you are never sure what you are going to find along the way.

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