You know we were in my hometown a week ago and we had many delicious foods there. As I told you, I’d like to continue sharing what we had and introducing foods of the region there. I told about Adana kebab in yesterday’s post, so I must go on with şalgam in this post as şalgam is the best companion for kebab. It is almost like a tradition to order salgam as a drink with kebab in Adana.
Şalgam is a popular street drink in south region of Turkey. Well, şalgam is actually the name for a vegetable from turnip family, which is very similar to beetroot, but this name is also used for this traditional drink. Şalgam is fermented with ground bulgur, salt and water, so it’s a tangy drink. Purple carrot and şalgam turnip are added into this fermentation. Şalgam turnip gives it a bit earthy flavor, purple carrot gives the reddish color to this drink.
The traditional salgam drink was originally fermented in wooden barrels, but today it is unfortunately made in plastic barrels. I’m sure the original version would taste even better! It is said that it becomes tastier with an addition of little mustard wrapped in a clean cheese cloth in the fermentation process.
Şalgam is served cold in large glasses with purple carrot sticks in it on streets, but restaurants serve it without carrot sticks. A sauce made from hot chili peppers is given in a seperate bottle with şalgam, so you decide how much to pour into your şalgam. We love it really hot, so we used all of the sauce you see above!
It is possible to find şalgam with brands at supermarkets in big cities now, but it doesn’t taste as good as the original şalgam in the south region of Turkey.
What I find funny about drinking şalgam is that your mouth becomes purple when you drink it, so it makes you smile too.
If you happen to see it some day, do not miss it!