Monday, July 12, 2010

Akçakoca, or, How To Eat Fresh Hazelnuts

Ne haber, guys?  This translates as 'what news' and most people shorten it to somethıng that sounds like naber, basically a casual 'hi, how are you' because you respond iyiyim, teşekkurler (I'm well, thank you) as you would to the question nasılsınız (how are you).

I had an amazing weekend... I went with my host mother and sister to the Black Sea region, to visit my anne's sister.  She and her husband live in a city of about 25,000 called Akçakoca, right on the beautiful Black Sea, or Karadeniz.  It's so lovely there... we could sea the sea from the balcony, and the entıre region is covered in fındık, hazelnut, trees.  About 70% of the world's hazelnuts come from Turkey, and Karadeniz ıs where they're grown.  And fresh hazelnuts!  Oh, I'd never had one before, and they're delıcıous.  Quıte mıld tasting, identifiable with the dried version but very different. 

We bought our fındık at a roadsıde fruit stand.


I had absolutely no clue what they were.

They grow in bunches of three, four, five, sometimes as many as eight.

You separate the little packages out...they're shaped a little lıke the glasses they serve tea in here.

Peel off the green outer leafy-shell thing.
 (not sure what the botanical term is)

Crack the white shell in your teeth, to reveal a moist, crisp white hazelnut. 

I suppose the texture is comparable to that of fresh coconut...hard and crisp, moist without being wet. 

There's also excellent fish in the Black Sea, a treat for people in Ankara, so far inland. 

A traditional Ottoman toilet...this one was at the fish restaurant by the sea.
(A bit of a colour-scheme interruption)

Those gorgeous hills, covered ın hazelnut trees...sorry about the power line in this shot, I took it from the car.

And I suppose it would be cruel to leave you without a photo of the actual sea I've been going on about. So here it is, though this doesn't do it justice.  Sunset over the  Karadeniz.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

So, this is a pretty awesome picture. I'm a sucker for sunrises/ sunsets.