Seasonal Food in Turkey – Hurma

As it’s Sunday, we’ve again partaken in our second favourite pastime (after sitting in bars) of going to the market. As part of ‘Seasonal Food in Turkey,’ our intention was to try and keep with the festive theme and take some photos of the dreaded Brussels sprouts. They’ve been around on the market for the last three weeks or so but not today. There’s a sprout drought! Could it be the bad weather we’ve had this week? We don’t know, but Christmas just won’t be Christmas if I can’t force feed ourselves a couple of sprouts. We’ve got one last chance at Fethiye market next Tuesday.

Anyway, as there were no sprouts, I took a photo of these things instead – equally as traumatic as the sprout in our opinion. For years, we’ve looked at these on the markets around Fethiye and wondered what they are – our sheltered life in evidence again I think, but then Wigan’s two fruit and veg stalls probably didn’t see much of a market for them.

Persimmon Fruit Hurma

Persimmon fruit for sale at Çalış Market

The problem with trying to find out the English translations of weird and wonderful fruit and vegetables in Fethiye is that the stall holders, and everyone else for that matter, seem to have their own names for everything. The most common word we’ve seen on the market translates as ‘date.’ No, not having that one. Whilst at a Turkish friend’s house a couple of weeks ago, we asked about it. ‘Oh no,’ he said, ‘this is a Franka Elması.’ Some sort of apple. Not having that one either.

This same Turkish friend then cut some up and insisted we try it. It’s his favourite fruit and he was wolfing them down. We’d been curious for ages and love trying new foods but both of us can safely say that our curiosity is now more than satisfied and we shan’t be trying them again. It’s easy to see why they’re popular here. Turks generally have a very sweet tooth and that was the sweetest, oddest textured food that ever passed my not very sweet teeth. It made my teeth tingle. If you’ve never had them and you like sweet things, give em a go because you’ll probably love them.

Oh, and we hit the jackpot last week. One of the stalls named this fruit as ‘hurma’. We mumbled it to ourselves all the way back home then we didn’t forget and opened the dictionary. At last. These big orange tomato looking things are persimmons. Wiki tells me they’re very popular in Japan, as well. See, you start writing a blog and you become a mine of useless information.

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  1. Now that’s a debate! “Hurma” is literally dates. Persimmons are called “Amma” or “Amme” in the south, and many different names around the country where they are known. (Mostly southern and western regions) I suppose they’re called “Hurma” in Fethiye 🙂

  2. Thanks for that Stratos. We know Fethiye has strange names for a lot of things (Cauliflower is çiçek). We’ve looked hurma up in the past and knew it was dates so we were looking for another name. Amma and amme, we have never come across. Interesting!

  3. Persimmons, like oranges, are native to China,known there as Shizi. China is the largest producer and consumer. Other names are Kaki and Sharon (Israel is a prominent exporter too). Popular food in Asia, Middle East and more en more in Europe.

  4. @ Anonymous: Thanks for the additional info. Didn’t realise they were so popular. They’re just far too sweet for us to enjoy. We’ll practise.

  5. “Hurma” means “dates”, does it? Well I’ve seen the persimmon referred to as “Trabzon hurması” which may (or may not) make any sense. Still, I’ve heard of those small tomatoes called “Italian cherries”, so ………

    • Yeah, wherever you are in Turkey, you tend to see fruits and vegetables given different names, Fagel. We often see other bloggers using different words to us because they’re based elsewhere in Turkey. All very interesting. 🙂

      • Well, as we’re going to Turkey again in 2 weeks, the persimmon will be out of season anyway. I was hoping to get lucky and find a few of them with seeds to create a bonsai tree for my collection. Import persimmons, from the usual sources (Spain and Israel) are seedless. Perhaps plant nurseries in Turkey are selling persimmon trees small enough to take on the plane?

        BTW. Love your “Turkey’s For Life”. I am very fond of Turkey. I travelled much of the country on the rough many times as a young man and now that I have a family I find it is wonderful for the wife and children as well!

        • Thanks a lot for reading the blog! 🙂

          Great that you have remained so fond of Turkey throughout the years and that your wife and family like it, too. Bet you’ve seen a lot of changes since you first started coming. We first came to Fethiye in 1998 and the town is almost unrecognisable since then – some good and some not-so-good changes. 🙂

          Not sure about the plant nurseries to be honest but our local ‘garden centres’ sell fruit trees as well as flowering plants so you could get lucky…

          • Indeed yes. In the early 70’s you’d only find a smattering of tourists round the Pudding Shop and perhaps one or passing through Ankara. I always kept to the minor towns inland and I’d never been to the coastal attractions until just a few years ago so I was unprepared for the hoards of Alanya. The good news is that Turks maintain their friendly and hospitable demeanor despite the onslaught. At least that is my experience. I love Turkey – I love the Turks.

            One of my life’s regrets is not having been to Doğubayazıt. I’ve always wanted to go and now I am sure I’ll never get my family to agree to the journey. Alas, my wife is not the adventurous sort.
            I’ll give the garden nurseries a go!

            • Ohhh, if you can ever get there, it’s really worth is. We did a road trip around the area a couple of years ago and loved it. 🙂 If you can bear to look at the posts, this is the East Turkey section on our blog. Doğubeyazıt is in there, too.

              • Thanks for the read on Doğubeyazıt. Now, if I can only find the time and the excuse for leaving my family “pool-side” in Kumköy for a day or two ……

                As an aside, I’d really love to have your opinion on Turkish wine. I’m sure you have a page on the subject but I can’t seem to find it. There is little in life worse than purchasing a bottle of wine, finding it tastes awful, then tearing yourself up over deciding whether or not to pour it down the drain.

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