Produce | Fresh Fruit and Vegetables
Produce, fruits and vegetables, grows abundantly in Turkey. The country is home to the headwaters of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. It has a rich agricultural history that dates back to the prosperity of ancient Mesopotamia. Despite it’s relative size, Turkey is the seventh largest agricultural producer worldwide. The industry extends to every region of the country and employs more than 20 percent of population. The rich soil and favorable climate have allowed Turkey to lead the in production of many fruits and vegetables.
Fruit | Meyve
Turkey leads world production of many fruits including apricots, cherries, figs, grapes and strawberries.
Apple | Elma
Turkey is the second largest producer of apples in Europe and the fourth largest in the world. The diverse geographic regions allow for production of over 450 different varieties.
Apricot | Kayısı
Turkey leads the world in the production of apricots. The country supplies more than 80% of the dried apricots worldwide. The most important apricot center in Turkey is Malatya.
Cherry | Kiraz
With 8 million cherry trees, Turkey is the largest producer of cherries in the world. Indigenous to region, cherries have been cultivated since the time of the Pontic Greeks.
Fig | Incir
Believed to be among the oldest fruits consumed by humans, figs originated in the Anatolian region of Turkey. Fig trees have been discovered during excavations of Turkish Neolithic sites that date back to 5,000 BC.
Grapes | Üzüm
Grapes are an ancient fruit. Some believe that the origins date back more than 130 millions years. Other say that the forbidden fruit from the Garden of Eden was actually grapes. Today, Turkey is the sixth largest producer of grapes in the world.
Lemon | Limon
In Turkey, lemons are consumed fresh, preserved, candied and even pickled. Lemon juice is used for limonata (Turkish lemonade), in salads and as an accompaniment to seafood. Turkey ranks as the seventh largest producer of lemons in the world.
Sweet Melon | Kavun
With the rise of the Roman Empire, sweet melons gained popularity throughout the Mediterranean. In the 15th century, the sweet melon seeds were transported from Turkey to Rome by Armenian Catholic priests. Today, Turkey ranks third in the production of melon worldwide.
Orange | Portakal
In the first century BC, Romans brought sweet orange trees to ancient Port of Ostia near what now the modern city of Rome. Oranges were introduced to Turkey in the fourth century by Alexander the Great. Today, Turkey ranks seventh in the production of oranges worldwide.
Peaches | Şeftali
Thought to increase longevity, the peach was a favorite food of emperors and kings. By 100 BC, peaches were consumed throughout the Roman Empire. Alexander the Great is credited for the spread into Europe. Today, Turkey ranks sixth in the world in peach production.
Pear | Armut
Pear is believed to have been consumed for over 4,000 years. Today, Turkey is the second largest producer of pears in Europe and the fifth largest producer worldwide. Commonly cultivated varieties include Santa Maria, Akca, Mustafabey, Cassia, Willliams, Ankara and Deveci.
Pomegranate | Nar
It is believed that the beautiful Helen of Troy, with a face that launched 1,000 ships, used the juice of the pomegranate as rouge for her cheeks and lips. Turkey is the eighth largest producer of pomegranate worldwide.
Quince | Ayva
Quince is believed to have originated near the ancient city of Smyrna, Turkey. From Smyrna, quince reached Roman trade routes and spread from the Middle East to China. Today, Turkey still leads the world in the cultivation of quince.
Strawberry | Çi̇lek
First mentioned in ancient Roman literature, strawberry production in Turkey is known to date back to Ottoman Empire. Today, Turkey ranks second in the world in the production of strawberries.
Watermelon | Karpuz
Watermelon is believed to have originated in Africa. Before spreading to the Mediterranean, watermelon had been cultivated for over 3,000 years. Today, Turkey is the third leading producer of watermelon in the world.
Vegetables | Sebze
Turkey leads world production of many vegetables including leeks, olives, peppers, potatoes, and tomatoes.
Artichoke | Engi̇nar
Artichoke is one the oldest cultivated foods. Artichokes are native to the Mediterranean and are grown throughout the Aegean and Mediterranean regions of the country.
Basil | Fesleğen
Basil is not commonly grown in Turkey. Nor is it a traditional ingredient in the cuisine. Although the Mediterranean is ideally suited for cultivation, most basil in the region is grown for individual consumption.
Carrots | Havuç
Originally domesticated in Afghanistan and Iran, carrots have been cultivated for more than 5,000 years. Black carrots originated in Turkey and have been cultivated for more than 1,000 years.
Corn | Mısır
Corn was first domesticated in Mexico about 10,000 years ago. Freshly boiled or grilled corn on the cob is commonly sold by Turkish street vendors. Today, Turkey is the seventh largest producer of corn worldwide.
Cucumber | Salatalık
Originally from India, cucumbers reached Turkey during the Roman Empire. Today, Turkey is the second largest producer of cucumbers worldwide.
Eggplant | Patlıcan
Today, after tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers, eggplant is the fourth most cultivated vegetable in the world. Turkey is the sixth largest producer of eggplant worldwide.
Fava Bean | Bakla
The fava bean has an archeological timeline that dates back to 6000 BC. Native to the Mediterranean, fava beans are one of the oldest cultivated plants.
Garlic | Sarımsak
The Black Sea city of Kastamonu is known worldwide for garlic. With more than 3,500 local garlic farmers, the small village of Kastomonu produces nearly 15% of the garlic cultivated in Turkey.
Lettuce | Marul
It is believed that the first wild lettuce appeared as far back as 4500 BC. The earliest known specimens of lettuce were discovered along Turkey’s Mediterranean coast on the island of Kos.
Onion | Soğan
Onion is one of the oldest cultivated vegetables. Believed to have originated in central Asia, it has been cultivated for over 5,000 years. Today, Turkey is the fourth largest producer of onions in the world.
Peas | Bezelye
Peas are an ancient food source. Archeological evidence from Shanidar Cave in Iraq indicates that humans have bean consuming peas for 46,000 years. Additionally, it is believed that peas were domesticated approximately 11,000 years ago in Syria.
Peppers | Biber
Peppers, believed to have originated in Americas, have been used as a food source since as early as 7500 BC. Some believe that the Spanish introduced peppers to the Mediterranean. Today, Turkey is the third leading producer of peppers in the world.
Potato | Patates
Potato is the world’s fourth largest food crop. Although they were not introduced to Turkey until early in the 19th century, the country is the largest producer of potatoes in the Middle East.
Pumpkin | Kabak
Pumpkin was unknown in Europe until it was introduced by Spanish Conquistadors following explorations of the Americas. Today, pumpkin has found widespread use in Turkish cuisine.
Radish | Turp
Radish is believed to have originated in Northern China. Archeological records indicate that radishes were eaten in ancient Egypt as early as 2700 BC.
Tomato | Domates
Tomato is believed to have originated in the Americas and was cultivated by Azteks as early as 700 AD. Today, Turkey is the fourth leading producer of tomatoes worldwide.
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