Feel the Power: Turkish Dried Fruits
Fresh fruits have already made themselves a name for their role in a healthy and balanced diet. Their “dried” counterparts are usually ignored despite they are even more beneficial for health. A natural source of antioxidants and rich of healthy fats and protein, dried fruits are just as delicious and nutritious for your health.
With the country ranking first in the world in terms of dried fruit production and exportation, it’s inevitable to talk about Turkish cuisine without mentioning its love of all dried nuts and fruits. Over the centuries, Turkish people developed an affinity for these products and these healthy snacks became an indispensable part of our kitchens.
In Türkiye you can find several kuruyemiş, a Turkish word referring to dried nuts and fruits. You may notice several shops selling these delicacies for affordable prices.
Some of the most consumed kuruyemiş types are produced in Southeastern Turkey such as apricots from Malatya and pistachios in Siirt and Gaziantep. Other delicious dried fruits and nuts produced in Turkey include hazelnuts of the Black Sea region. These products firmly stand the test of time and offer visitors of Türkiye a sweet holiday.
Here is a list of the most delicious dried fruits and nuts to get energized for your upcoming adventures in Türkiye.
A sultana refers to a kind of seedless grape grown extensively around İzmir in Aegean Türkiye. Their production includes drying them under the sun for seven to eight days and then processing them. Once they are ready for consumption, they turn into an efficient energy source as they are rich in carbohydrates.
They also offer vitamin B1, B2, and different minerals. This is why their health benefits countless. As an important source of fuel, sultanas aid in the treatment of inflammation and fever, as well as supporting child growth and providing benefits to the kidneys and liver.
When compared with the rest of the world, Türkiye is the largest producer of sultana raisins, with a rate of 25%, and 85% of this production rate is exported abroad.
The Turkish coast of the Aegean Sea produces an enormous percentage of the world’s figs supply. Türkiye is the number one producer of dried figs with a rate of 75%. Figs are grown mostly in the southwestern Aydın province, especially in its districts Germencik, İncirliova, and Nazilli. The climate in this area is perfectly suitable for figs to grow, and Turkish figs are differentiated from others with their thin skin and natural honey filling.
August is the best time to harvest figs, which later are dried by Turkish farmers under the sun for almost a week. If you plan to visit Türkiye in the summer, you may want to add the Aegean region to your August itinerary just to try freshly harvested figs.
Eastern Anatolian region’s Malatya city has been known throughout the world for its production of fresh apricots and dried apricots.
Turkish farmers harvest fresh apricots in August, but the amount of fruit’s ripening determines its exact harvest time. Due to the climate of Malatya, Turkish apricots are generally sweeter compared to those that are produced elsewhere around the world.
Dried apricots are particularly known as vitamin and mineral sources rich with vitamins A, B, C, E, iron, calcium, and magnesium. They also help improve the gut health and bowel movements.
Dried mulberries are known in Turkiye as super fruits. Besides their excellent taste, mulberries are rich in vitamin C, protein, fiber, and calcium. Low in calories, they are the best snacks for those in diet.
In addition to lowering the risk of developing cancer, mulberries help you maintain healthy skin, nails, and hair. Harvest time for mulberries is between July and August, and the best places to grow them in Türkiye are Elazığ and Malatya.
To keep your heart healthy, you should make sure to add a handful of Turkish dried mulberries to your daily diet.
Both sultanas and Thompson raisins come from the same kind of seedless grapes. When the grapes are not dipped in a particular solution to fasten the drying process, they take longer to dry and hence, get a nearly black colour.
Türkiye is one of the countries with the most compatible environment to vine growing around the world. Turkish farmers carefully harvest these raisins around August and September. These kinds of raisins have a thinner crust on the outside. Since they came from the same roots as Sultanas, Thompson raisins are also a perfect energy source because they contain a high amount of carbohydrates.
Golden raisins owe their name to their light, golden colour, which is lighter than that of Sultana raisins. They help people of all ages meet their daily vitamin and mineral needs.
Türkiye is one of the best addresses to find golden raisins due to their abundance in the area. They are easier to preserve and excellent as ornaments for different kinds of desserts such as cakes and biscuits. Dried golden raisins also help relieve constipation.
They protect your teeth and lower your cancer and heart attack risks. If you have the sweet tooth, you should seriously think of golden raisins as a sugar substitute in your diet.
Dried sour cherries
The harvest time of fresh Turkish sour cherries is around July and August in Türkiye, and they are generally dried under the sun naturally. Dried sour cherries are just great for desserts, being plump, juicy, and sweet. If you like sweet and sour, tangy flavours, dried cherries will be your new favourite snack.
Like any other products listed here, dried cherries are good for daily consumption and help you reach the daily optimum level of vitamins and minerals. They are also a natural source of vitamin A and therefore protect the eyes, lower the risk of cancer, support the immune system, and help you fight against skin problems such as acne and eczema.
Türkiye’s prominent apple species are Red Delicious, Golden, Amasya, and Granny Smith apples, with Red Delicious being especially popular all around the country.
Due to their unique tastes, dried apples of Türkiye offer you a feast of flavour. They are not only rich in antioxidants, but they also improve your blood flow, make your digestive health better, and reduce the risk of several diseases. They are one of the healthiest snacks you could find in Türkiye.
Prunes are one of the most versatile fruits to be consumed when dried. Known as erik kurusu in Turkish, dried prunes are rich in vitamins and minerals and offer a long-lasting sweet taste.
It would be best if you tried them as accompaniments to cashews, nuts, and cheese. They are an essential part of Turkish cuisine and desserts. They were also popular during the Ottoman era when the members of the Sultans’ family would consume them daily. Since they are rich in fibre, potassium, vitamin K and A, you should consider adding them to your diet for a healthy life.
To learn more about Turkish dried fruits and nut, and Turkish cuisine in general, be sure to visit the official gastronomy page of Türkiye.