Turkish Food: An Artistic Antalya Spice Stall

One of the things we love about being in Turkey is the abundance of spices available to us. As you know, we both enjoy cooking and experimenting with different Turkish recipes and the fact that we can just go along to buy spices from Fethiye Fish Market and buy as much or as little as we need makes life much easier. One of our kitchen cupboards is full of little plastic tubs, all neatly labelled with whichever herb or spice they contain.

While we were getting lost in Kaleiçi in Antalya, we happened upon this spice stall and we just had to stop so that I could take some photos. Yes, it was all set out to attract the tourists – and it worked, for us. Anyone who takes the time to be artistic and create all these pyramids from herbs and spices deserves to be noticed in our book.

Spice Stall in Kaleiçi, Antalya

A rather artistic spice stall in Kaleiçi, Antalya

Of course, as soon as we stopped, we were handed a glass of hot fruity tea, made from the dried fruits at the top of the photo. We’re no fans of pushy sales techniques and we usually walk away at this point but well, the guy wasn’t pushy, the aromas from the tea were irresistible and I’d fallen for the sight of the spicy pyramids.

We sipped our tea and had a chat and before long, the guy invited me to take some photos of his stall while he demonstrated his pyramid sculpting skills (see top left photo). What had we gained from this little amiable meeting? A large glass of fruity tea each and a set of richly coloured photographs. What had the guy on the stall gained? Apart from a break in the probable boredom of his day, not a lot, so far.I love my camera and I love taking photos but I’m very conscious that others aren’t quite so keen. It’s just a personal thing but I waited till the stall holder was happy for me to take photos. For that and for the tea, we were grateful – so we bought a big bag of home made chicken rub (and he threw in a couple of extra scoops) and guess what else we bought. Yes, a big bag of extra hot, charred chilli flakes – and there isn’t much left of either of our purchases.

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  1. Beautiful!! What colors – love how he took the time to make art with them.

  2. @ Belinda: It’s an eye-catcher isn’t it?! 🙂

  3. I love those pyramids! I’m like you and get a little self conscious at times with the photography. Sometimes I find asking nicely breaks the ice and they’re happy for you to take a few snaps.

    Nicely done with the collage 🙂

  4. @ Corinne: I need to get braver with the asking bit! 🙂 I just loved the pyramids so was determined to get some pics, somehow.

  5. Great photos! I love the spices here! Antalya is our list and we may even try to go at the end of this month for a quick weekend trip…before the summer crowds descend on it soon.

  6. @ Joy: Thanks. We love the easy availability of all the spices, too. I’d definitely only go to Antalya in winter, spring and autumn. Apparently, the summers are an absolute scorcher. Hope you enjoy it. 🙂

  7. I remember that market and the pyramid-shaped spices. Sadly, I was in Antalya a few years before digital photography. These pictures are excellent.

  8. @ Sophie: We were in far too many places before digital photography. Annoying isn’t it? This is my first set of Antalya photos and we’ve been loads of times. Looks like the pyramids have been around a while then! 🙂

  9. Turkey is definitely on our list! I love photo of the spices.

  10. I’m obsessed with spices and is one of the reasons I want to visit Turkey. Do you know how long it takes for the vendor to sculpt them into a pyramid? He must really love what he does.

  11. @ Don: Tick Turkey off your list and come to visit. 🙂
    @ Grace: There are so many spices available in Turkey. The guy probably takes a while over his pyramids but he did look a bit bored so maybe it helps him pass the time. 🙂

  12. Hi,
    I think I visited this stall just 2 weeks ago. I bought the most amazing tea for colds and coughs. I had a cold that day and this guy came running out with a hot cup of some kind of spice tea. But I didn’t get the name of the tea. Do you remember the name the of the stall.

  13. @ Audrey: Yes, they’re quite good at getting you to drink their little concoctions there. Sooo tasty though. 🙂

    Unfortunately, we don’t know the name of the stall. I’ve looked through my photos and didn’t take a photo of the name of the place. (Should’ve done!)

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