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Jan 21, 2010 05:58 AM

Turkish Ingredients

Was watching Bourdain's travel show from Monday (set in Turkey) and started to wonder where one might find Turkish groceries / ingredients in the city. In particular, I am hoping to find the type of cheese that is fried for breakfast, as well as the spicy sausage that seems to be used in a variety of dishes.

My wife and I were discussing this and couldn't really think of a neighborhood with a substantial Turkish population. I can think of a few Turkish restaurants, but not an area that might have a grocery with authentic ingredients. Any ideas?

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  1. There is a small Turkish population in Sunnyside & a few shops with Turkish ingredients, though mostly boxed or canned afaik, but I haven't really looked hard. There is a small Lebanese market, el Shater that has some nice fresh Middle Eastern ingredients, but Lebanese nonetheless.

    1. In Brooklyn, on Kings Highway, there are a number of Turkish owned restaurants and food shops. One food shop in particular, under the Q train El at East 16th St (sorry, I don't know the name) carries a nice selection of Turkish ingredients.

      5 Replies
      1. re: Rmis32

        There is a turkish grocery store at the corner of 60th St and 8th Ave, right in the middle of Sunset Park Chinatown. Next door on 60th is a Turkish restaurant; on the 8th Ave side there is a turkish mosque and, I believe a butcher. The grocery has produce, a butcher, bread and a lot of packaged goods. Good luck!

        1. re: jen kalb

          the Turkish grocery referred to above is CLOSED,
          there may be another smaller store near the mosque but I havent checked recently.

          1. re: jen kalb

            Actually last night I stopped into YUVAM Turkish Market at 805 60th St, next to Faith Mosque. This shop was full of goodies- harissas, rose petal jams, dried figs, a variety of cheeses & asst'd dairy, some breads, dried goods...Jeb, behind the butcher/deli counter was very informative about preparing different dishes- including a special dry fried veal that he said made up a special breakfast in his country. He also gave a sample of his world famous rice pudding & it was amazing!
            Look for the blue & white tiled exterior- it's very close to the corner of 8th Ave.

            1. re: nychilanga

              Interesting - was there once a Turkish restaurant in this space? Used to be one called Elite; a post on Zabihah, the halal site, says it was succeeded by another called Divan ...

              805 60th St, Brooklyn, NY 11220

              1. re: squid kun

                yes - the new grocery replaces the restaurant formerly in that site. I didnt find it impressive -its certainly not on the level of the store that formerly graced that corner - but i wasnt looking for cooked food - maybe that is their forte.

      2. In Sunnyside there's a deli on Skillman at 47th St. that I recall having cheeses. I'll pass by one of these days and make sure, if that wouldn't be too late for you.
        For canned foods, olives, spices there's one small deli on 43rd Ave at 46th st (I think it's called Sunny Grocery), also Massis (43rd Ave & 43rd st) carries quite an assortment of Turkish products.

        1. Thanks for all the replies! I had a hunch that Sunnyside / Woodside would be the answer, but it's also good to know there are options in BK. I live on E 18th, so the suggestions on Kings Highway and in Sunset Park are super convenient for me. Thanks also to those who wrote from Queens!

          2 Replies
          1. re: chorosch

            you can also usually find sucuk (the spicy sausage) at the arab grocers on atlantic avenue usually. they are usually not turkish brands, but close approximations. also, you can order from which is sort of like an for turkish stuff in the us. they also have spices, etc.

            as for cheese - that cheese that is fried, is practically the same as greek haloumi cheese. so if you can find that, it's a good substitute. also, if are looking for a good beyaz penir (white cheese - basically turkish feta), there's a brand that can be found usually called "Pinar" - it's a pretty big brand in turkey, but there beyaz penir is great - definitely what i am used to.

            you've made me hungry with this question!

            1. re: gomuppets

              the last time I went into Eastern Market on CIA they had a lot more turkish groceries than I remembered, including cheeses. worth checking out in any event. This is a very mixed store (produce while cheap and good for indian veg is not always in the best condition with a mix of indian, kosher, russian, turkish and hispanic products.

          2. There's a whole bunch of them in Bay Ridge. I don't think we have a huge Turkish population per se but it seems those that are here specialize in running grocery stores.

            1. Aunt Halime's, 7005 3rd Ave (Ovington), orange awning. I am in love with this place. Unassuming at first but one of those places you realize after going further afield that they have everything better and cheaper. Also it's right across from my apartment and they give me a break if I'm short on change and lend an umbrella for an unexpected downpour. The couple who own the place are delightful. Try the merguez!! (sausage)--in the freezers along the right side. Spicy and non-spicy are marked by how short/long the ends of the plastic baggies are cut which is a cute touch. Meat is wonderful but you have to buy a whole section of lamb/goat at a time and they don't often have chicken.

            2. ?? -- Red & White awning w/ Halal Meat, Lamb, etc. written, on 5th Ave & Senator St. Not advertised as Turkish but I'm told it is. Great prices on meat and more flexible with cuts than Aunt Halime's.

            3. ?? -- 5th Ave in the high 70s, I'll look for the name next time. Sensory experience with bins upon bins full of spices, beans, nuts, and grains. Sweets, breads, cheeses--beautiful place.

            Also there are a host of other Arabic shops along 5th between Bay Ridge and 80th St, notably Balady's, which has great olives and everything else you desire!