The beautiful tastes and sights of Elazig, Turkey

turkey grapesThe area in and around the Euphrates is utterly beautiful. It really is a dream to be around there especially when the sun is out. The awe and wonder it inspires is similar to when you fish start college or university – sheer excitement about the endless possibilities. Passing through Elazig, Turkey you can’t help but wonder at the marvel of the wonderful sea there. What’s especially sweet about the area is the grapes and vine yards there. There are two major types of grape that grow in Elazig. These are the Okuzgozu and Bogazkere.

For much great than the previous six millenia grapes or grapa have been growing in and around Elazig. The most common means of their consumption is actually to be eaten whole. However, they are also utilized in the production of wines too. Another way they are put to use is also when making this thing called Pekmez. Pekmez is made by heating the grapes and then combining this mixture in with wheat based flour. After a while it becomes thicker. Once at this point, fresh walnuts are then emersed in the solution and then they are put outside for drying off. Once they have finished the drying process we get what is called in Turkey, Orcik. People all over the region usually make large batches of it in big cauldron type drums. They also tend to use long pieces of marble that have been heated in fire as a source of heating.

In Elazig the grapes that grow seem like they are simply everywhere to be seen. However, after a bit of extensive exploration one realizes that it’s not just grapes. In fact, the region is quit diverse in what it produces. In addition, later in the year, the market places are bustling not just with peoples but also pears, apples, peppers of all varieties and types. There you will also be treated to fresh walnuts and chickpeas which can produce the finest dips, butters, and hommus.

Not only can these lovely things be purchased at the market places but there are numerous spices and dried and cured fruit that were brought in from the summertime yields.

There’s no doubt that the East of Anatolia of Turkey is stunning and does not dissapoint if you love your food. In addition to this, it is stunnig in its envionmental beauty as well. It is also extremely and refreshingly diverse in its culture, food and peoples. When ever you get the chance to do some travel we recommend Elazig.

How to enjoy just as much seafood in a sustainable fashion

by in Seafood, Sustainable Food

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seafood sustainabilityIt’s important to be aware of where your food comes from and the manner in which it is produced. Doing so means you can eat what ever you feel has been made in a way that is good and not damaging to the environment and even the well being of other individuals and communities. Importantly, you want to know that the environment in which it is produced will be sustained for years to come. Without it there could be no more of that delicious dish growing in that part of the world unless it was made sustainably. In fact, it is often hard to tell where and how it is made because manufacturers often try to cut corners and conceal these details as much as possible to protect their bottom line. This article provides a guideline for how to choose seafood that have been yielded in an environmentally sustainable way.

The old adage there’s plenty of fish in the ocean is not all it’s cracked up to be. In fact, you can’t just keep on pulling in heaps and heaps of the same breed of fish en mass otherwise the speed of fishing will outstrip the speed of that type of fishes life cycle. To ensure this does not happen, it is important to purchase seafood from smaller local producers. Not only is it fresher as you often buy the same day it’s been caught. It will have come from a stock pile that is not so big that it threatens the species that have been caught that day.

People who enjoy fish and who are also environmentally minded often wonder what types of fish are the most sustainable ones to eat. However, it is a lot more complicated than that. It is not really about which breeds are good to be caught that are good for the environment. It is actually more about the way the fishing industry you are buying from is structured. From what type of company was your fish caught? This is a crucial question to answer. What tends to be the most sustainable fish is not the breed but rather whether it has come from a multinational corporation that fishes at massive scale or whether it was caught that day by a smaller fisherman or family business.

Companies such as sea to table have really stepped up the game in this sense. Sea to table actually go out and source fish from smaller independent fisherman. They have an entire network of these businesses through which they then supply to restaurants and the like. Their fish is often better quality of more fresh. This is because it is locally caught and probably the same day. Bigger companies on the other hand catch so many fish for big supermarkets and the like that their yield is often put in the fridge for a while before it lands on your plate. Not only are these companies taking too many fish at once and at too rapid a rate their catch is no where near as fresh and good tasting either.

So what would we recommend as the best method for getting sustainable fish?

Certainly, try to not buy your fish from anyone. Also, try to avoid big supermarket chains unless they have brands from fishermen you know for a fact they have good sustainable practices. This is the same principle as if you were purchasing produce from a farmers market. You get to know trustworthy sellers at such places and keep going to them every time. Same goes for buying seafood. A brilliant fishmonger will know exactly what they’ve caught and the extent to which the different types are sustainable at any given time. However, it’s up to you to ask. Otherwise they won’t know what you’re after exactly. Remember not to be intimidated by the process involved in buying seafood. All you have to do is use the fisherman as an all important resource rather than seeing yourself as an ignorant inferior.

Another important thing is to eat less of it. Massive fish such as tuna and swordfish can be really nice to eat. However, there are generally fewer of them than the smaller varieties. The latter tend to bread more and grow up quicker just because of their size. They tend to multiply at bigger breeding rate as well.

Last of all, it’s important to eat fish according to the seasons of the year. Mass production has trained us to expect anything all year round. However, this is certainly not sustainable. If you eat which breeds are in season you can ensure that the fish are being given the opportunity to reproduce sufficiently for the next season. Doing otherwise is a sure way to deplete a given type of fish.