Written by Katie Parla on August 13, 2009


This morning I stuck around Eğirdir long enough to take a spin at the town’s incredibly diverse Thursday bazaar. I am obsessed with these once-weekly markets that take place all over Turkey. Farmers move from town to town selling their fresh produce, yogurt, cheese, olives, eggs, fish, meat, and opiates. Yesterday I caught the one in Isparta, today Eğirdir, tomorrow, er, does Konya have a Friday bazaar? I should probably look into that…

While wandering through the market today, I saw a large yellow bucket filled with what looked like mud or clay. Whatever it was, I wanted to stick my hands in it. Luck for me, the vendor instructed me to do just that so I could taste the stuff. This grainy, slightly sweet paste is called haşhaş (pronounced hash hash), so I wasn’t completely surprised when my friend Ibrahim told me it has the calming effects of hashish. Of course he told me this after I ate a huge fingerfull of it. No wonder I slept every minute of the 3.5 hour bus ride to Konya.

I asked about this haşhaş on twitter and @vinoroma informed me it is more like opium, hence its immediate calming effects. She further mentioned that it is sometimes used in a dessert called katmer, which is a sweet pide (I think). It just goes to show, you cant dip your finger into a bucket full of opium paste without having to add yet another Turkish dessert to your list of “things to eat in the near future”.

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