A Truly Turkish Taste (via “A Seasonal Cook in Turkey”)

Our friend Claudia at A Seasonal Cook in Turkey, posted the following on her blog.  Thanks for allowing me to repost Claudia!

A Truly Turkish Taste: 

these are called çağla (pron: char-lar)
In other words, unripened almonds. I think you have to be born Turkish in order to like these!

They are viewed here as an early harbinger of spring not necessarily a delicacy but even so, quite popular.  I find it hard to understand the attraction in the land of baklava and sweet syrupy desserts.

I am almost late posting about these as spring is marching on and of course the almonds are getting riper by the day . But when you see these in the markets, you should be aware  of what they are – and don’t buy them!
çağla on the branch right now in our garden in assos

This what they look like: pale green and furry. You bite into them and split the case with your teeth to find the kernel inside.  At the market on Monday I had one just to have another try, but no, not for me. Most definitely not.  The guys on the stall obviously thought I was mad as I spat it out!

beautifully peeled and chilled fresh almonds
However in the restaurants it’s another story. Don’t be surprised if suddenly a vendor from the street appears at your table bearing a tray like this laden with peeled almonds. This seems to be perfectly acceptable to the establishment and if you so desire, you order a plateful like the one above.

It’s a sublime combination of freshness and texture.  And only available now! 

One thought on “A Truly Turkish Taste (via “A Seasonal Cook in Turkey”)

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  1. I actually love the spring almonds… I soak them in salty water and then eat cold and fresh. I think they are fantastic, so let’s not discourage people from being open-minded and trying something new…

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