The Souks, or the local markets, and the larger bazaars are among the most remarkable attractions of Egypt. Unlike Lebanon, Syria and Turkey, Egypt doesn't really have a restaurant culture although it does have an exciting street food scene. Located behind and around the Temple of Luxor, Sharia el-Souq was converted into a charming, yet unauthentic, covered pedestrian zone. The newly paved and renovated street accommodates many shops that sell that same Egyptian merchandise, catering only for tourists. While items are the same, the pleasant surroundings make for a generally better shopping experience, albeit highly artificial. For a more authentic experience, however, continue north onto Sharia Ahmos where the local Luxor souk is located and where these pictures were taken.
Also known affectionately as ‘Vic Market’ or ‘Queen Vic’, the Queen Victoria Market has been the heart and soul of Melbourne for more than a century. A historic landmark spread over two city blocks, it’s a vibrant and bustling inner-city market where you can shop for everything from Australian fruit and vegetables, and local and imported gourmet foods, to cosmetics, clothing and souvenirs. Because there is so much to see, I have broken the post into fruits and vegetables, this is obviously the vegetable portion. Although the variety of vegetables looks similar to an American supermarket, the species and names are often different. I love farmers markets and while I understand many will find these posts less interesting, you cannot understand the food on your plate without understanding the ingredients. The watchwords of the new cuisine are local, fresh and renewable.
We decided to visit the “farmers market” in Nevşehir, Cappadocia. This was a really large market. Usually the market is one long aisle, here it was at least 5×5 aisles, coverering a small city block. Farmers markets are called Pazar in Turkish. More and more Turks seek out organic and sustainably farmed foods for the sake of their family’s health and the health of the planet. Farmers markets in Cappadocia include: Saturdays in Ürgüp, Sundays and Mondays in Nevşehir, Wednesdays in Göreme, Fridays in Avanos. The term “farmers market” in Turkey assumes a new level of interest, with live chicks, goslings and rabbits in addition to spices and exotic fruits and vegetables. Street markets in Turkey are one of the greatest pleasures and attractions for locals and for tourists, with their bright colors and delicious mingled scents. The herb and spices stalls always attract me by the wonderful glowing rich colors of paprika, cumin, saffron, cloves, mustard seeds, fenugreek, cardamom and ginger and their heady, enticing fragrances. Strings of dried vegetables and innumerable fresh fruits and vegetables are on artistic displays.