Seasonal Food in Turkey – Confusion With Runner Beans

Well, seeing as we did yesterday’s blog post all about supporting your local markets in Turkey, we thought we’d better practise what we preach and go to the Tuesday market in Fethiye this afternoon to stock up on our veggies.

Apart from the staples, we were on the look out for some seasonal goodies and noticed there’s an abundance of green beans around at the moment. For some reason or other, we haven’t bought any yet this year, so we decided to get some today and I’m all excited. Stir fry tonight for tea (with green beans) and tomorrow, I’m going to do a Turkish recipe with them.

Turkish Green Beans

Green beans are piled high on the markets in springtime

Normally, we like to use the Turkish words in the titles of the seasonal food posts. However, internet research has confused us today. In the past, we’ve posted about barbunya beans (which are still out on the markets and we were very temped to get those instead, today) and there’s no confusion there. They’re barbunya. That’s it. Pink and white pods. Can’t miss them. They’re great for making barbunya pilaki.

But, these beans that we bought today are very thin. Next to them, there were some slightly fatter ones, but still long and thin. Runner beans, string beans, French beans, green beans – are they all the same? Google images and Wiki seem to suggest so.

Little dictionary test then. I got my Turkish dictionary and looked up ‘green bean’ and ‘runner bean.’ Different words. Typical. Thought as much. Green bean is ‘yeşil fasulye.’ Runner bean is ‘çalıfasulyesi.’ Hmm. So then I looked up ‘çalıfasulyesi’ and the description was ‘string bean with large edible pod and small beans.’ None the wiser. Does this make string beans and runner beans the same, and if so, are green beans a different variety?

Do the descriptions on Fethiye’s Tuesday market help much? No. It just said ‘Fasulye‘ (Beans)! Anyway, we bought the thinner version of the two today. They’re long, they’re green and they’re beans. They’ll be perfect for what we need them for.

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Comments

  1. I love these sort of conundrums! Names for fruit and veg in different languages are notoriously confusing. But the again, a friend of mine started compiling a German-English dictionary of fish names…. it still hasn’t been published 🙂

  2. The most confusing thing is that Turkish has 2 different words for the beans, Margit – and this is a laguage where tortoise and turtle are the same word. Bee, wasp, hornet – same word. So why are there two words for beans that we thought were the same? Typical.

    Hmm, fish names. Interesting. Don’t even get us started on the Turkish fish names. 🙂

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