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What is Turşu?

Ayse Anil

Turşu translates to “pickle” in English and Turks pronounce it like “tour-shoo.” The word refers to any pickled vegetable, not just cucumbers. Turşu is an essential side dish served alongside certain types of main dishes in Turkey. When someone serves chickpeas or dried beans, they will serve a salad of turşu too. There are many types of turşu, but the most common ones include cucumber, eggplant, cabbage, and pepper. A turşu salad consists of one or more of these vegetables mixed with water, garlic, and grape or apple vinegar. Most Turkish people make turşu at home, but you can also buy it from a local “Turşucu.” “Turşu suyu” (pickle juice) is also sold at these stores. Try sipping it to cool down on a hot day. Just keep in mind that it will make you thirsty later on in the day.

Since turşu is so embedded in Turkish culture, the word can also be used to describe your wellbeing. For example, “turşu gibi olmak” (be exhausted), “kendini turşu gibi hissetmek” (feeling rotten).

Categories: Food

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