Products Growing in Izmir
With its fertile soil and suitable climate, İzmir is also an agricultural and animal husbandry city. Here are the most famous products grown in the fertile nature of Izmir.
48% of İzmir's food production consists of vegetables, 47% of animal products and 5% aquaculture. Some of these products (such as olives, grapes, tobacco, and cotton) are not directly affiliated with İzmir since they grow in many other points of the Aegean Region. However, there are many products that immediately bring beautiful İzmir to mind. Here are some of them:
Çeşme’s Mastic Resin
The famous mastic trees of Çeşme grow in the triangle of Çeşme - Karaburun - Sakız Ağacı and their height can reach 5 meters. It is also believed that the gum of these trees, which are very precious thanks to its resin, has a healing effect. Çeşme's mastic gives flavor to cookies, jams, and even coffee, as well as gummy pudding and ice cream, which you can find almost everywhere in this district.
In İzmir, where you can find vineyards all around, and it’s always Şirince that comes to mind when talking about wine. Homemade wines of Şirince are made of many different fruits such as blackberries, blueberries, melons, and strawberries. If you haven’t tested these world-famous wines yet, you are missing a lot.
Melons grow in many places in Turkey but Çeşme’s melon is another thing! This melon, which is also called “Turkish delight” thanks to its taste and smell, is different because it can also be found in winter. This melon, which grows in dry soil, is protected with a hanging method to the ceiling. This ensures that it remains intact for a very long time.
İzmir Tulum Cheese
Tulum is a traditional Turkish goat's milk cheese normally ripened in a goatskin casing, called tulum in Turkish. However, what makes İzmir's Tulum cheese different from the others is that it's not made in a goatskin casing, but in a tin. This pickled cheese is another food you must definitely try in İzmir.
This plant, rich in vitamins and minerals, contains abundant magnesium, calcium, and iron. This herb, which was used in the past by alternative medicine for infectious skin diseases, respiratory diseases, digestive problems, and headache treatments, is consumed in İzmir in the form of tea and also prepared as a dish with lamb meat. You can easily find Şevketi Bostan, which can be served by boiling or roasting, in many restaurants in İzmir.
Other healthy herbs of İzmir
The culinary highlight of the Aegean and İzmir is the wild greens and herbs, collected by villagers from gardens, fields, plains, and farms; prepared and cooked in the simplest ways, slightly blanched or sautéed with olive oil. Amongst the must-try herbs in İzmir are ivy, mallow, nettle, wild cabbage, radish, wild mustard, blessed thistle, chicory, glasswort, angel’s tears, and watercress. These herbs are very rich in vitamins A and C. They are also good antioxidants with their calcium, phosphate, and iron content. Herbs are usually served with olive oil and lemon sauce without boiling so that they do not lose their vitamins.
Kinds of seafood of İzmir
Since the coastal line in İzmir is 629 kilometers, seafood is another highlight in the city and countless fresh seafood restaurants border the seashore. The city is famous for salt-encrusted grouper, red mullet on vine leaves, fried or stuffed mussels, flounder fillets on skewers, gilthead seabream, grilled seabass and an İzmir specialty, fish in milk.
Misket Grape and The Black Grape
Grape is a very widely produced product in İzmir, like many points of the Aegean Region. However, the Misket grape grown in Bornova and the black grape grown in Foça are the most famous. Misket grape is a thick, medium-sized, fragrant, and juicy grape. Black grape (also called Foça’s Black), on the other hand, makes the most delicious wines.
We have said that we would exclude the products grown in other parts of the Aegean Region, but just like grapes, we could not do without mentioning the olive oil of İzmir. When it comes to olives, İzmir is such an important address that the first modern olive oil workshop in the world is located in the Ancient City of Klazomenai in Urla.
The other products in İzmir
We want to conclude with naming the other famous products grown in İzmir. Apart from the products above, cherries, tangerines, chestnuts, pink tomatoes, küner (pine nuts) and many other delicious products await us as a treat of nature in the fertile lands of İzmir.