Seasonal Food in Turkey – Did You Know There Are Two Types of Pomegranate?

I know I’ve already mentioned pomegranates (nar) in an earlier post but we’ve learnt something today that I thought I might as well share. Anything to make us appear knowledgeable.

We’ve spent the morning and early afternoon in Kayaköy having a chilled Sunday with friends and thoroughly enjoying a Turkish village breakfast (köy kahvaltı) at Yalçın Restaurant. Completely relaxing, perfect weather and then a stroll to our friend’s house in Kayaköy to visit his family – and walk off the ridiculous amount of food we’d just got through. It was at this house that the knowledge was imparted…

Sweet And Sour Pomegranate

Are you sweet or sour?

This house is just one of those fabulous, classic, dreamy village houses that you picture in your head when you think, ‘Mediterranean village house.’ It’s whitewashed with a large verandah overlooking its surrounding land; land that is filled with grape vines, pear trees, persimmon trees and chilli plants. As we’re in Autumn now, all of these beautiful edibles are in their prime and being harvested.

We sat round the table eating plump, juicy, freshly picked grapes of different varieties and then our friend’s mum disappeared and came back with a couple of pomegranates that she had just picked; two varieties of pomegranate.

Pomegranate Season In Turkey

Pomegranate season is in autumn

All this time we have assumed that the pomegranates sitting on the market with the light coloured skin and pale pink centre were just not quite ripened yet. We have always waited for them to get bigger, redder, more misshapen and cracked, as in the photo above. However, what we were told today is the pale coloured pomegranate (top photo – left) is the tatlı (sweet) pomegranate and the ones I absolutely adore (top photo – dark red centre) are ekşi (sour) pomegranates. We did a taste test and it appears our newly acquired piece of knowledge is correct. I still prefer the sour ones though.

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  1. Well, I’m really glad you told us that, because

    a) I thought a pomegranate was just a pomegranate, and

    b)my sister is visiting Ayvalik for the first time this week, we have a bowlful of pomegranates, and I can now go into the kitchen and stun her with my detailed pomegranate knowledge!

    We visited Bergama a couple of days ago, and at the cafe by the ruins they are selling freshly squeezed pomegranate juice, which I used to get in Ankara, but never seem to see in Ayvalik, and we both drank huge glasses of it.

    Just delicious….

  2. We’re a mine of secondhand information Caroline. 🙂
    Bergama is on our list of places we fully intend to visit one day…one day. How is it?
    We love the freshly squeezed juice too but I prefer to eat the fruit, I think.

  3. I just love pomegranates. Infact, i have one growing in my backyard….n my lastest post too has them…check it out. I promise u’ll love it… =)

  4. I have the sweet pomegranate growing in my yard, it looks exactly like the one above.I prefer the sour variety though and either get it from a friend or buy. Happy pomegranate season to you.

  5. @ Sarah: Yeah, we’re fans of the sour variety, too. The sweet one was a bit too sweet for me. Enjoy your pomegranate season, too. 🙂

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