One thing I really love about Turkey, is that the process of obtaining food is rather direct compared to the US food system. Farmers markets are gaining popularity in America, but they are still not considered the norm. However, going to the pazar to purchase your veggies and fruits is quite common in Turkey. For this reason you get fresher, more tasty produce, as I talked about before. However, the issue of seasonality does come into play. For that reason, my mother-in-law (whom I shall call anne, the turkish word for mom) has been teaching me methods and techniques in order to conserve the summer’s bounty for winter.
For example, I spent one entire afternoon stringing up peppers and eggplants to dry outside in the Mediterranean sun. While I’m not sure what the peppers will be used for, I am familiar with the hollowed out eggplant shell, which will become dolma (spiced rice stuffed veggie) in the winter. I also helped with making tomato sauce, and will soon learn the art of making tomato paste and tarhana (a specialty soup, made and dried for the winter).
I hope to have some recipes and instructions for you soon, inshallah!