Once upon a time, there was a town in the Northwest of England called Wigan. Our home town. Wigan had an outdoor market square and an indoor market. Both sold British, seasonal fruit and vegetables and clothing and haberdashery, etc.
The open-fronted shops that surrounded the indoor arcades all sold fish, eggs, meat, cheese, bread and the like, and some of these shops had hares, rabbits and pheasants hanging from hooks outside. The market was always packed with Wigan townsfolk and there was constant noise and chatter from the vendors; especially at the end of the day. Bargains galore and a May Day fairground just for good measure.
This fairytale didn’t have a happy ending for us as Wiganers. These are my memories from doing the twice-weekly shop with my nana during the school summer holidays when I was in junior school. Now? Well, when we left Wigan 7 years ago (22 years later), it was a medium-sized town (50,000 ish people) with no food market at all. The last fish monger of the indoor market would write letters to the local newspaper asking for customer support…
There are numerous, sad reasons for the demise of the markets and, needless to say, supermarkets saw the possibilities and descended on Wigan in their droves. Wigan was home to the largest store of the biggest supermarket chain in Britain when we left. This has no doubt since been usurped by a store in another town but that was the case back then as we chose to come to Fethiye. Shoppers in the centre of Wigan, these days, have no choice but to go to the supermarkets for their fruit and veg.
Cue our love of all things markets! We’re both huge fans of fruit and veg markets of the Fethiye area and local produce and make the effort to use our local Turkish pazar on a weekly, twice-weekly, sometimes thrice-weekly basis. Why wouldn’t we? We really enjoy the experience: fresh produce, familiar faces – our potato and onion guy knows exactly the size of potato we look for and helps us to hunt them out from the huge mound. It’s cheap and it’s taught us how to get the most from the seasonal produce. We cook loads of stuff we would never have dreamt of cooking in the past.
Yesterday, we posted a link to an article on our Facebook page about market traders throughout Turkey saying they were losing out to supermarkets. Don’t get us wrong, we are not completely anti-supermarket. We’ve even done a post on the arrival of Kipa in Fethiye. They’re useful places for general shopping. However, they will not be receiving our lira for fruit and veg (or meat, fish and bread for that matter) on a regular basis. It’s off to the various Fethiye markets for our fruit, vegetables, olives, cheeses, yoghurts and eggs for us. It’s a happy shopping experience, it’s local produce!
It’s a bit sad for us to see people shopping for fruit and vegetables in the supermarkets of Fethiye when we’re in such a beautiful setting that produces an amazing array of foodstuffs – all of which are available on the markets at cheap prices and in such abundance (and of course there is the fact that you’re supporting local traders and farmers). So, this is our ‘Love your local market (pazar)’ post…
Here is a list of the fruit and veg markets we know of in the Fethiye region (there are others that we know we’ve missed out. Just not sure of the days). Please feel free to add a fruit and vegetable market from your area of Turkey in the comments box below so we can all enjoy the market experience, wherever we may be…
- Sunday – Çalış market & Alsancak market (Izmir)
- Monday – Hisarönü market
- Tuesday – Fethiye market
- Wednesday – Bostanlı Pazar (Izmir)
- Thursday – Çiftlik market
- Friday – Fethiye farmers’ market, Üzümlü market
- Saturday – Patlangıç & Karaçulha markets