We write a lot about the local food markets around Fethiye but we've never written about our favourite one - until today that is. Our favourite food market is the Friday market or the Cuma Köy Pazarı.
Cuma Köy Pazarı means the Friday Village Market and that's why we like to go here so much. It's on the same site as the Tuesday market but you won't see the clothes and souvenir stalls of the Tuesday market here. Fridays are for locally grown fruit and vegetables only.
Fethiye village market is never crowdedAnd, whereas the Tuesday market is absolutely packed with shoppers of all types, well, you can see for yourself in the photo above, this is a market where you can amble around in your own space and your own time. In our guide to Çalış Sunday market, we said that was chilled, but the Friday pazar beats Çalış hands down in the chill factor stakes.
The stalls are more haphazard than Fethiye and Çalış marketsAnd you won't see the usual market traders here. These people are villagers from the surrounding areas and they come to sell their produce. The stalls are haphazard; some displays neatly arranged, but many are just a mixed pile of random goodies from fruits, salad stuffs and vegetables to large plastic tubs of homemade pekmez (grape molasses), nar ekşisi, olive oil, cured olives and usually a few village eggs balancing precariously on top of everything, just for good measure.
We don't go to the Friday village market with a shopping list. No, the village market is for browsing - because you never know what's going to be there. It's whatever the villagers have on the day. In the photo below, you can see that prickly pears are in season. We've never bought them, but we're tempted. We just need to work out what to do with them, first.
The villagers sell whatever is in season
Sometimes we'll struggle to find the staples like potatoes and onions - but that's okay. We buy those on Tuesdays and Sundays. We come home from the Friday market with random bags - courgette flowers, when they're in season; small bunches of wildflowers that have been picked around the local villages; wild salad leaves that are just described as yeşillik (greenery). We have no idea what a lot of them are but they're edible and they make for a more interesting salad.
And if you get hungry, you won't see the kebab stands that do good trade on the Tuesday and Sunday markets, but you will see a couple of stalls selling bazlama and gözleme - and this is good gözleme. Packed with filling and it's usually a lira or two cheaper than on the main markets. It's a little added bonus to the random Friday shopping trip.