By. Justin Mays
With buying Turkey properties comes the opportunity to become a regular at the weekly local bazaar. When seeking seasonal produce, and the freshest cheese and meats the bazaar is a one stop shop. Lively and colorful you will also find stands selling diverse products like cleaning supplies, clothing, shoes and other home provisions. For a newbie to the bazaar, locally referred to as a ‘pazar,’ that first visit can feel like a daunting prospect with the crowds jostling for the best goods and with their vast selection of products like village free-range eggs, olives, breads, nuts and homemade jams and salsas new to you. But local pazars are a wonderful way to fit into the fabric of your new neighborhood and to discover the rich local cuisine. Held weekly these famed farmers markets have people sometimes crossing neighborhood boundaries to find the best of a vast array of products.
What should you expect at a bazaar? Don’t be shy if the vendor offers you a sample of an olive, sliver of cheese or fruit to taste, it is common practice to share small bites before you buy. Generally, you can pick your own produce out but delicate foods like strawberries or nuts and dried fruits are handled by the seller. Food is usually purchased in grams and kilos rather than per piece so learn your numbers in Turkish before going. Bringing cash is important as traditionally most transactions are made in cash. Despite tales of price gouging in touristic shops, most bazaar vendors have signs up with the prices and bargaining is not a common practice. Most people do not attempt to bargain as stock is offered at a fair market price in fact prices are often much lower than in grocery stores and their profit margin is not high. Occasionally when you arrive in the last hours vendors are willing to sell things at a discount to the dwindling customers. If you are planning on driving there be aware that some pazars close down entire streets so you may not have easy access to the area, going early also insures that you have the best selection of goods. To cut down on plastic bring reusable bags or if you plan on buying for the week take along a small trolly to place your goods in as you browse the wares.
So shop local, eat seasonally and connect with your neighbors at your weekly pazar!