It will come as no surprise to anyone who visits Fethiye, whatever the time of year, that the region’s local fruit and vegetables are grown, harvested, bought and eaten for a very important reason – they taste incredibly good.

Fethiye: where fruit and vegetables are grown for flavour

Every season has its stars

Fethiye: where fruit and vegetables are grown for flavour

At the moment this seasons stars are the mandarins and pomegranates that are piled high on the fruit stalls and mountains of huge cabbages, cauliflowers, and the winter’s first spinach, crates brimming with earthy beetroots, carrots, potatoes and mountains of red, white and golden onions on the vegetable stalls.

Fethiye: where fruit and vegetables are grown for flavourFresh bundles of herbs, some gathered from the nearby mountains…

And then there are the wonky, meaty tomatoes…

British supermarkets have conditioned us to believe that it is how fruit and vegetables looks that determines  their value.

But these tomatoes that are not all the same size and colour taste amazing even though they may not look perfect. Believe us and try for yourself.

Fethiye: where fruit and vegetables are grown for flavour

The list goes on…

In the late spring and summer there is always a cornucopia of delicious fruits, vegetables and salad stuff of all shapes and sizes, of course.

But whatever the month happens to be, market shopping a treat for the eyes as well as the taste buds.

Fethiye: where fruit and vegetables are grown for flavour

A taste of Fethiye

Fethiye produce tastes so good there is even a project devoted to helping local farmers and hotels make the most of them.

The Taste of Fethiye, Turkey from Mile 91 on Vimeo.

Last night Mile 91‘s film for The Travel Foundation received the Special Recognition award in the TVE awards. The awards recognise films that put environmental and sustainability issues on the global agenda and inspire change.

When shape wins over taste

You may think that rambling on about Fethiye’s fruit and vegetables is stating the obvious but just a few weeks ago, Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall, chef, journalist, food writer and campaigner on food and environmental issues, brought home the shocking message to British TV viewers that farmers in the UK have to throw away thousands of tonnes of vegetables and fruit every week.

Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall in front of a mountain of 'wonky' parsnips
Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall in front of a mountain of ‘wonky’ parsnips

And this profligacy isn’t because the British aren’t eating their five a day or because the farmers have got their supply and demand out of kilter; no, it’s because supermarkets say that their produce is wonky or ugly.

Cosmetic standards, as these bizzare regulations are known, determine what is acceptable and what isn’t in the fruit and vegetable department.

Produce that dent make the mark and is dumped. Quite literally.

Currently, there are calls for a vegetable revolution, with people demanding that wonky vegetables and ugly fruit should be allowed to grace the shelves of the country’s supermarket shelves along with their so called ‘perfect’ counterparts.

Meanwhile, here in Fethiye we are proud of our markets and the vast variety of fruit and vegetables they sell, whatever their shape.

Thankfully, over here what a piece of fruit or a vegetable looks like is secondary to taste, just like it should be.

In fact we like our tomatoes to be wonky. It means they are traditional varieties, locally grown in small holdings and gardens, and not on an industrial scale.

If, like us, you shop locally, and put flavour before the shape of your fresh produce, we are certain you will agree with us.

Wonky and proud!

Sadly there aren’t any parsnips, ugly or otherwise, they haven’t caught on yet but here are just a small selection of our wonderful fruit,  veg, nuts and fungi…..wonky or not.