When you come to live in Turkey you will find that the Supermarkets here are slightly different to those from home. There is a good selection of Supermarkets here in Turkey to suit your budget and they hold a good selection of foods, personal items and products to suit everyone.
Supermarket shopping in Turkey is different from what we are used to in the UK and the USA. When you walk into supermarkets back home first you will see the vast range of fruit and vegetables, then you are guided around the shop in a manner in which to entice you to buy what offers they have and with the smell of fresh-baked bread and in some the hot chickens roasting on the spits all in order to make you feel hungry and buy more in the shop. The one other thing that is noticeable is the huge selection of pre-packed, pre-made and frozen foods available to make every day easier for the busy person! If you’re a savvy-saver, you may already have one of these Makro catalogues, which allows you to get some amazing savings on everyday items! The Turks love a deal when they find one.
Going Supermarket shopping in Turkey has the same feel and you will feel very comfortable in all the stores but very quickly you will notice the distinct lack of things that you would find back home.
You will notice the fruit and vegetable section is not a massive array of foreign fruits and vegetables, nearly everything you will find in this section is grown in Turkey meaning it is more sustainable and you will only find certain items when they are in season. Most people in Turkey shop for fruit and veg at the local markets which also means the Supermarkets here in Turkey stock less than at home.
You will notice the lack in huge freezer sections and pre-made foods and find this is one of the smallest sections with some frozen pizzas, a small selection of frozen vegetables, fish and ice cream and some daily stables from the Turkish diet. I think the largest freezer section I have noticed here is in Kipa one whole aisle dedicated to frozen goods.
You will notice that Turks love their biscuits and cakes you will always find a plentiful selection. Rice and Grains are also very important in the diet and you will always find a good selection of pasta.
You will find a good selection of cheeses, fresh olives, fresh bread, and nuts.
Interestingly to me is that the butcher sections aren’t large either, red meat is expensive in Turkey and most people will go to the local butcher for meat. I’ve come to find that it’s fresher from the butcher than in the Supermarkets.
Food and household goods are not the cheapest here in Turkey nor anywhere at the moment but if you shop wisely you can make big savings in your budget and cut your cost of living.
I do see the influence of the westernized cultures starting to creep into the supermarkets which I hope will never become a big factor here.
The reason I say this is because the way of Turkish life the supermarket and the weekly local market means you make all your meals from scratch, what you make is packed with healthy ingredients, and all sustainable.
This gives me great pleasure when cooking at home; I am learning to make some things I would most commonly buy in a can, and learning the origins and putting my own twist on them. At the same time, I feel I am contributing to the universe by being sustainable and reducing my daily footprint on the planet.
I can only wish and hope that instead of the influences of the western world coming here that the western world would take the influences of life here and use them in their daily lives. Surely this would make for a better world. Well in food at least!
Supermarkets in Turkey:
Migros – Main Turkish Supermarket Chain, can be expensive, quality normally good
Carrefour – French Chain, expensive reasonable quality
Kipa – (Tesco, large selection of products, quality not always good and can be expensive)
BIM – Budget Range, very popular with good deals and quality (my personal favourite)
A101 – Budget Range
?ok – Budget Range, some good deals and quality good
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