Skip to Content

Turkish Food: Honey, Nuts and Kriko

Share this article

In fond memory of Durmuş amca who passed away in March 2022. RIP.

‘EL-WAJ-EE, EL-WAJ-EE.’ Stick around in any of the Fethiye bars and cafes for only a short amount of time and eventually, you will hear a male voice shouting something resembling that sound.

This guy is a Fethiye institution; trundling up and down the harbour, around Fethiye Tuesday market and Paspatur throughout the summer season.

You’ll see (hear) him in winter too, but not quite so often.

Durmus Amca, Fethiye Helvacı
Durmus Amca passed away in March 2022

This is the face behind the voice and what he is actually shouting is, ‘HELVACI, HELVACI.’ (A seller / maker of helva).

We only found out recently that this was what he was shouting and we’ve been buying his goodies for years.

It’s not that we don’t know what helva is; it’s that what he is selling isn’t helva – to us.

Turkish Honey Nut Bars
We always buy some of these honey and nut bars

Inside his basket are rectangular bars of nuts or sesame seeds, bound by smooth honey and wrapped in cling film.

Hazlenuts (fındık), peanuts (fıstık), sesame seeds (süsam) or mixed (karışık), all for a very reasonable price.

They’re an ideal snack; natural, really good for you and a bargain!

A few days ago, we were sat along the harbour with friends and we were all starting to feel the need to satisfy rumbling tummies.

We shouted the helvacı over and I opted for the fıstık (above) bar. Our friend chose the sesame seed bar. Rumbling tummies were soon cured.

Honey Nut Bar
The fıstık (peanut) bars are so tasty

If you’ve ever been to Turkey, you’ll know that just about every kind of food that is touted to tourists is described as natural viagra. These bars are no different.

Our friendly helvacı knows only a couple of words in English but he’ll make sure he stresses to you, with a knowing smile, that his honey bars are natural viagra.

We assumed this was the usual tourism sales pitch – but we were talking with a Turkish friend later on that night and we asked him why the honey and nut bars were called helva.

It turns out that that’s just what they’re called. But then he asked if there were any sesame bars in the basket.

‘Yes,’ we replied.
‘Ahh, well they’re called kriko,’ he said.

No smile. Completely serious.

He turned to his friend for confirmation and asked him what they’re called. Kriko was the reply.

‘What does kriko mean,’ we asked. Kriko is not a Turkish word we’ve ever come across.
‘Car jack. We call them kriko because…well…you know.’

Being intelligent enough human beings, we didn’t press for the answer.

We got the picture. Car jack is a decent enough analogy for anyone.

Share this article

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Turkey's For Life

Sunday 22nd of May 2011

@ Anil: Of course. Did you know the kriko thing? Our friend really had no other name for it. Funny. :)


Sunday 22nd of May 2011

Creative marketing Turkish style :) I can't stop laughing at kriko...

Turkey's For Life

Friday 20th of May 2011

@ Belinda: We'll just assume you got there, shall we? :) But yes, it is lovely stuff. We buy it all the time.

Belinda @zomppa

Friday 20th of May 2011

Huh. Car jack...still trying to figure out...but...funny that they all purport the same thing. No matter - looks yummy!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.