On Sunday April 14th UMF visited Istanbul Supermarket, at 745 S. Gammon Road. It has been open almost exactly a year and is still in the process of expanding.
Hospitality was on view from the moment we arrived, as the owner, Yashar, plied us with mineral water, coffee soda, delicious cookies filled with hazelnut cream and dipped in chocolate. We even got samples size tubes of olive oil hand cream.
The shelves are full of Turkish items ranging from fantastic preserves, to tea and coffee (including a set sold with the traditional enameled pot), to tinned meats, pickled vegetables, and nut studded candy. There are also some Indian and Middle Eastern items mixed in, both on the shelves and in the coolers and freezers.
One of the biggest draws for many of the market’s customers is the halal meat. There is fresh meat, such as lamb and goat, as well as frozen, and items such as a spicy, precooked sausage similar to chorizo, but with a fragrant twist.
Our guide, Oktay, talked about the various ingredients we encountered as we went from aisle to aisle and spoke about all the wonderful dishes his mother would cook for him growing up. The UMF tours will always leave you hungry and ready to try some new ingredients in the kitchen!
Yasher is in the process of getting some new coolers installed and hopes to eventually expand to be able to have a deli area too, where he can serve food and Turkish coffee. That will be a happy day.