On Saturday evening TT and I decided that the next day we would drive out to Şile (pron: Shilay) which is located on the Black Sea about one hour’s drive from where we live in Fenerbahçe on the Asian Side of Istanbul.
The reason was that I had read that Şile is in the process of becoming Turkey’s third Earth Market, after Gökçeada and Foça. The philosophy derives from the Slow Food idea which is ‘based on the foundations of good, clean, and fair food’ (The Guide Istanbul Sept-Oct 2015). There are no middlemen: ‘the products are produced using environmentally-friendly methods which sustain local food culture and stand up to agricultural biodiversity.’ There are over 57 villages which are represented there and no, it’s not a kadınlar/women’s initiative.
Here you see husbands and wives, friends and family participating side by side in the event. The produce is not necessarily organic but it is doğal or natural and I am very happy with that. The idea is to spread awareness of GMOs and artificial additives which is something that we should all support.
Since my personal disappointment this summer with Çanakkale tomatoes, I am all for it!
So I was very curious to see what this market was all about.
It’s held twice a week, on Fridays and Sundays, starting at 7.00. We arrived at 10.00 and that was just fine. I think that’s a good time to arrive: no crowds as yet, but yet the beginnings of a hustle and bustle.
I found all the stallholders smiley and welcoming. Not one woman refused to have her photo taken which made a welcome change. Here are some of those friendly open faces which I’d like to share with you:
Many of the women were occupied in making gözleme or pide:
This market was very appealing: clean, well-organised, friendly. Next time the sun shines, take a trip out to Şile on either a Friday or a Sunday to visit it. You’ll love it, just like we did. We had such a positive experience and I am sure you will too.Actually, it doesn’t have to be sunny as the market is covered.So go and see! I’m sure this is going to become the new foodie destination!
One final photo: there was a minibus parked outside the market. It was piled to the roof with chestnuts and walnuts.
Now, this lady didn’t want to be photographed but I reassured her by saying I only wanted to photograph her wares.
Whereupon, after asking me where I was from (!), she said that she’d like to offer me some of her nuts: sevdim seni, she said.’I liked you’.What could be nicer than that?