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Old 26th February 2007, 03:46   #1 (permalink)
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Apricots from Malatya

From ZAMAN newspaper:


Malatya’s healthful dried apricots rule

Good ingredients should be used for a good meal. Likewise, using the right materials is the essence of a good nuts platter. Even though hazelnuts, peanuts and roasted chickpeas are what come to mind as the major nuts for many, nut connoisseurs are aware that a plate without dried apricots is missing something.

Even though hazelnuts, peanuts and roasted chickpeas are what come to mind as the major nuts for many, nut connoisseurs are aware that a plate without dried apricots is missing something. The dried apricot -- the Malatya apricot, of course -- has become an inalienable part of a nuts platter. Nut crops grow in just about every part of Turkey, a major nuts exporter to Europe and the Arab world. A rich nuts plate today includes peanuts from Silifke, Anamur and Osmaniye, almonds from Siirt and the Aegean region, and yellow chickpeas from Çorum and Tavşanlı. The homeland of the white chickpea is Denizli-Tavas. The hazelnut, the symbol of the Black Sea region, grows mostly in Giresun and Ordu-Bulancak. The squash seed is the favorite of Edirne, the sunflower seed is famous in Kayseri and Erzurum. While Gaziantep is the undisputable king of pistachio, Siirt is a pretender to the throne.
All aside, apricot and other crops in Malatya appeal to both sight and taste. The latest favorite of nut-lovers is the “apricot döner” (kayısı döneri). The ingredients of this fairly new innovation include apricot, pistachio, glucose, sugar and carrot. Kayısı Atomu (apricot atom), another apricot-related nuts product, is a rich energy and vitamin source. The natural apricot is crushed and added to it is a mixture of cinnamon, vanilla, clove and ginger. Hazelnut, peanut and walnut are also put into the mixture and the apricot atom is ready to serve! Apricot is also the main ingredient of such interesting delicacies like apricot baloney and apricot delight (kayısı lokumu). The Malatya Çıtırı, a chocolate-covered roasted chickpea, is at the top of the favorites list. Muska, which is essentially a thin sheet of sun-dried apricot pulp with a mixture of grape, pistachio and starch inside, is another favorite.
Nut researchers Mehmet Gülseren and Ahmet Şentürk underline that Malatya has the greatest number of nut types. Ahmet Şentürk notes that the local people of Malatya province have combined the apricot-related nuts and the traditional nut varieties resulting in a much improved and richer nut culture. Şentürk stresses that a wide variety of nut types aside from apricot, including hedik, kavurga, mısır közlemesi, leblebi çeşitleri, karadut, dut dövmesi, nişe pestili, un pestili, çiğ süzme, kesmece, and karamedan, has contributed to the enrichment of the nut culture of the city.
A prolific writer and researcher on apricots, Professor Dr. Bayram Murat Asma stresses that the healing effects of apricots have been proven through scientific studies. Asma strongly recommends that parents feed their children apricots. The white chickpea is good for stomach health and an indispensable part of a diet for its appetite-suppression impact. The squash seed cultivated in Adapazarı is recommended for an empty stomach for those who are suffering from parasite problems. While bitter almond helps regulate diabetic irregularities, the black grape is strongly recommended for children and ladies for its contribution to blood circulation and the apricot for its positive effect on liver health. Dried nuts also help smokers spend time and repress the stress associated with smoking.
While bulk apricot is very inexpensive, its derivatives are quite the opposite. The highest quality bulk apricot is YTL 2.5 per kilo, apricot döner is YTL 9 a kilo and apricot atom YTL 7 per kilo. Salesman Ertuğrul Sarıhan attributes the striking difference in the high prices to the extra apricot.
Turkey supplies 85 percent of entire world apricot exports, while Malatya alone meets 90 percent of Turkish apricot production. Ninety-five percent of total production is exported while only 5 percent is offered in domestic markets. Despite its monopolistic advantage, Turkey exports apricot products at low prices. One kilogram of apricots produced at YTL 3.25 is exported at a price of YTL 2.65. Experts recall that with the introduction of a new marketing strategy, the contribution of apricot exports to the Turkish economy may significantly increase. Seventy countries, including the US and EU countries, import apricots from Turkey.
Over 125,000 tons of apricot were harvested in Malatya in 2005. Because of the high volume of production, the price decreased to YTL 1.50 per kilo. Conversely, total production in 2006 was 55,000 tons. Producer prices range from 1.7 and 2.5 YTL per kilo. According to data released by export associations, Turkey exported 26,483 tons of dried apricots between August 1 and September 30, 2005 with total revenues of $42,287,262. While 23,891 tons of apricot were exported during the same period for the year 2006, total revenue for this period was $43,823,733.
These figures indicate that Turkey sold one kilo of apricot at YTL 2.65 in 2006 and YTL 2.32 in 2005. Chairman of the Turkish Agriculture Chambers Association Şemsi Bayraktar recalls that the production cost of one kilo of apricot is YTL 3.25. Bayraktar also draws attention to difficulties that apricot producers must confront, including fluctuation in market prices and sharp decreases in production amounts because of changing climate conditions. Today, apricot is extensively used in regular meals and its oil is extracted for use elsewhere. Its areas of use also include cologne and soap production. Following apricot-made molasses and döner, now apricot desert is becoming popular. Agriculture Engineer Serhan Gökbulut along with his food engineer wife invented an apricot desert and named it Zerden. Gökbulut notes that they now have a standard which they have developed after three-months work.
Noting that they were distributing the new product to a number of other cities, Gökbulut estimates that their invention will attract greater attention. The price of the desert is relatively high because of its rich content and Gökbulut says that it is offered for sale at a price of YTL 10 per kilo. He also recommends the desert to those with a high cholesterol level. Because of its vitamin D content, an apricot desert is also good for kids.



Benefits of the apricot to human health

It ensures the regular operation of brain, alleviates stress by preventing overwork.
It helps repair the damaged parts of the liver.
It plays important roles in improving the overall conditions of bones.
It strengthens the teeth.
It decreases kidney stone formation.
It protects against cancer.
It strengthens heart muscles and helps them work more regularly.
It prevents anemia, stomach ulcers and heals already existing ulcers.
It has a positive impact on the reproductive system, increases sexual stamina.


26.02.2007
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Old 26th February 2007, 07:15   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Apricots from Malatya

I eat lots of Dried fruits including the Apricot, I didn't realise they were so beneficial to ones health.
Thanks for this information very interesting.

Ray

I should say I buy the Black ones from H&B they are the Orgaic ones and more tasty.
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Old 26th February 2007, 12:59   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Apricots from Malatya

nice one immac..i love dried apricots too...love them even more now with that info.
ive read some where that the UK is the number one importer of Turkish dried fried and nuts.
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