This week I am

visiting Turkey for the first time. I’m in a Kocadere, small town near Eceabat, about to¬†Gallipoli. We’re staying in The Gallipoli Houses, a wonderful guesthouse, stone cottages set in gardens, all lovely sounds – the rustle of leaves, the crowing of roosters, the moo of cattle, the maaa-baaaa of sheep that look like goats, or are they goats that looks a bit like sheep? The house this morning smelled wonderful. They’re making tomato sauce, just tomatoes with a hint of olive oil, cooked, pureed roughly, and bottled. Today’s was the second of three batches. There will be hundreds of jars that will see them through the winter.

We’re some way from Istanbul, a good four hours’ drive, through huge areas of sunflowers, all heavy-headed and drooping, and melons stands all along the highway. Melons and tomatoes are in high season, eggplant and figs not far behind. In the Eceabat supermarket, yoghurt comes in two or three kg containers. Soft drink in supersized bottles is positioned near the entrance, heralding a shift in eating and drinking habits. Tomatoes were about $1.20 a kg in the supermarket. In our lunch salad, the tomatoes were so sweet that for a second I thought they had added watermelon to the salad.

Lunch was grilled red peppers, zucchini fritters with yoghurt rxcentre24, grilled sardines, mixed salad. There is a winery near Eceabat called Suvla. More to come about that later when I have tried more of the wines.

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