Monday, December 21, 2009

Perfect Pomegranate Syrup

Ok, I notice I'm writing a lot about food lately. Wonder if this blog is taking a turn?

One of the loveliest bits of my Turkish life is nar ekşisi, or pomegranate syrup (literally 'pomegranate sour'), which I buy not from the supermarket, but rather from a man who makes it himself and then sells it in recycled pop bottles out of a 3-metre-square storefront in the old part of town, just a few minutes' walking distance from our house. He also sells his own olives and olive oil, and nothing else.

Nar ekşisi is a staple in every Turkish household, I'd say, and is found on most restaurant tables where a Canadian might expect to find ketchup or vinegar, salt and pepper. It's most commonly used as the acid on salad; so add your olive oil and then, instead of lemon, other citrus, balsamico or any other vinegar, add your nar.

Supermarkets carry several brands, but most have all kinds of additives and don't even contain pure pomegranate, but rather pomegranate 'essence,' which we all know is food industry code for manufactured in a lab somewhere. Look for a natural brand, or even better, a family's homemade version. You'll really taste the difference.

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