Seasonal Food in Turkey – Yeni Dunya / Maltese Plum

We’re in a bit of a seasonal food mini series at the moment. We are, after all, in the midst of spring when new life begins, and lots of fruits and vegetables should be cropping up soon. This is another photo I took at the big Fethiye market on Tuesday and just like çağla, it’s another seasonal food which pops up at this time of year which we had never seen or heard of before we came to Turkey.

loquat maltese plum fethiye market

Yeni Dünya At The Pazar

This little yellow fruit is known as Yeni Dünya (New World) or Malta Eriği (Maltese Plum) in Turkey. The only way to describe the taste is maybe a bit like an apricot and they’re about the same size as a small plum. We didn’t buy any on Tuesday because if you look at the photo, a couple of them are still a bit green. These little yeni dünya taste best when they’re lovely and soft and ripe – just at the point when they’re on the market looking a bit battered and bruised – that’ll probably be in the next week or so. They probably don’t enjoy being handled and loaded onto display stands very much but trust us, they taste better than they look.

We’ve always just accepted that these fruits are called Maltese Plum or Yeni Dünya and we’ve always wondered if they’re known in other countries by a different name – and today, research has been carried out. If you know your fruits and you recognise the fruit in this photo, you might know it as Loquat and apparently, they originate from Southwest China.

Yesterday, we wrote about çağla and straight away, one of our favourite followers on Twitter who lives in Istanbul, KajuJuju, said she loves her çağla pickled. We were curious, so looked it up on the internet and lo and behold, there are loads of recipes for pickled unripe almonds. Okay, that’s us buying çağla on Fethiye market tomorrow then. Jars at the ready.

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Comments

  1. Off topic as far as food (I hope) but have you ever gone into the spice store in Turkey? Last time I was there I saw Ant Egg oil. And it is what it is. There are all kinds of weird oils like Apple oil. The Lavender oil is so potent it can knock you into next week and everything you eat for about three days will taste like room freshener. In small doses, it is nice for scenting sheets and pillow cases. It’s supposed to make you sleep better. Yeah right.

  2. Loquats! I love them and have a little tree in my backyard. It is too bad the season is so short

  3. We love them too Sarah. Will be making a purchase at the market tomorrow. It’s frustrating because a lot of our neighbours have loquat trees, lemon trees, orange trees, the list goes on. They have them just as decoration and all the fruit grows, falls off and splats on the floor. Me and Barry would be grateful recipients!!

    Nomad, can’t say I’ve ever come across any of those oils. This is Fethiye.

  4. Anonymous says

    I am from Malta currently living in the USA and today happened to be talking to a Turkish Friend and asked me if i know about the Maltese Plum, could not get which fruit he was talking about until i looked it up and found out it is a fruit that in Malta we call it Naspli, when i was growing up everybody had one of these trees in their garden, they taste great when they are yellow, soft and ripe. Never knew that they where known as the Maltese Plum!!

  5. @ Anonymous: Thanks very much for this comment. How interesting – and how strange that they are known as a Maltese plum but only to people outside of Malta. Maybe they’re only known as a Maltese plum in Turkey? Thanks again.

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