What spices to buy in Instanbul

216
78
Joined Aug 20, 2010
Hi all,

long time no see.

I'm looking for some advice on what to buy at the Istanbul spice market. I'm certainly thinking some red pepper, mint, oregano and other herbs, maybe cumin....what else? What can you actually buy there?

Thanks.
 
38
13
Joined Jan 6, 2015
I wouldn't bother with mint, oregano etc. Try and source some Persian saffron, which is the best in the world, but be aware of forgeries. Do a little research on how to examine the stamen and how to spot dyed saffron.

Otherwise, get some sumac, cinnamon and cassia bark.

LP.
 

phatch

Moderator
Staff member
9,593
1,105
Joined Mar 29, 2002
I'm not sure I'd buy spices to transport back. You'll want to know customs rules for the specific spice and source as there are sometimes plant diseases they're trying to quarantine. 

My sister, well-meaning, has brought back spices for me from her travels. The ones she encounters at least are set up for the tourist to bring back, but are often inaccurately labeled, have fillers or other questionable quality. A good spice vendor in your home country will probably have spices as good as what you can bring back unless you have a special source you're visiting such as a specific grower or such. 

I'd be more inclined to make connections for ordering directly later, say from an artisan olive grower for oil or similar. 
 
3,355
46
Joined May 29, 2006
Customs wont allow many of hem back into the USA. Most time customs will confiscate any uncooked product. I have witnessed this at both the airport and cruise ships.   Listen to Phatch.
 
150
14
Joined Apr 7, 2015
 
Hi all,

long time no see.

I'm looking for some advice on what to buy at the Istanbul spice market. I'm certainly thinking some red pepper, mint, oregano and other herbs, maybe cumin....what else? What can you actually buy there?

Thanks.
as mentioned above.... be very careful about customs. And...as for the spices you named you can find them all here.

I would look more for cooking equipment.. things you just cant find here.

for example.... tangina pots. Tangina mind you... not tangine. I find them very interesting.

https://www.cookipedia.co.uk/wiki/images/1/14/Tangia_cookery.jpg

http://www.cierrainteriors.com/medi...f78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/d/p/dp-87l.jpg

and to answer your question .... i would hunt for grains of paradise. :)
 
Last edited:
216
78
Joined Aug 20, 2010
Thanks for your replies, guys.

I don't worry about customs. The over-zealousness of US customs officers is legendary all over the world, however, I'm from Slovakia and it's not a big deal here. On the other hand, we don't have good spice vendors. Those that do exist have pretty much the same stuff I can buy in a supermarket plus a few exotic spices.

I think I should concentrate on different kinds of Turkish pepper and paprika and maybe some kekik and mint. Maybe grains of paradise, cubeb and similar stuff. But mostly capsicum.
 
7,675
842
Joined Apr 3, 2008
Bay leaves!!

Take what you can, the worst that happens is they throw them out at customs. Take it from me, I've smuggled all kinds of cheeses, dried meats, even live snails.
 
182
25
Joined Sep 18, 2012
What I would buy is:

Persian Mint

Sumac

Barberries

Persian Dill

pistachios nuts

rose water

I use the rose water in pie crusts and Chinese sasauge.

All of these spieces are also used in Persian and Lebanese dishes.

ss
 

Latest posts

Top Bottom