September 12, 2011

Kadiköy, Istanbul. June, 2007

I am fortunate to live in a town with a sizable Armenian community, assuring that the local markets are well stocked with the Middle Eastern ingredients I rely on for so much of my cooking. For example, each of the five such stores within blocks of my home carry at least a half dozen different types of feta, my current favorite being the creamy and less salty French style. And olives! I have stopped counting these days and go straight to the Moroccan oil-cured black olives that I love. (A Lebanese man in my nearest store once stopped me and said, “We eat those for breakfast.” Now I do, too.) But the rich roster of olive types near my home is nothing compared to the varieties that were available in the open market here on the Asian side of Istanbul. Zeytin means olive in Turkish, and just look at some of these beauties. Dried, cured in salt, cured in oil, black, purple, green, large and small from all over the country and beyond. Just imagine the breakfasts.

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