Malatya is a city located in the Eastern Anatolia region of Turkey and is the world’s largest producer of dried apricots. The apricots from this region is very sweet, both the fresh and the dried apricots. On arrival, we were greeted with different shades of orange, the sight of apricots drying on the ground under direct sunlight. The city holds an annual fair to celebrate the fruit and promote Malatya but we are just over two months late for it.
>> Welcome to Malatya, world’s largest producer of dried apricot!
>> Rows of fresh apricots laid out on the ground between the rows of houses and the road we were driving on.
>> In Malatya, apricots are still dried using traditional means. Producers work tirelessly to sort the apricots and dry them out while the sun is still hot.
>> Fresh apricots (bottom) are more yellowish. As the fruit dries out in the sun, the orange colour becomes deeper.
>> More apricots at various stages of drying out.
The drive from Malatya to Pinarbasi took us through towns and villages such as Darende, Develi, Kurecile and Kozluca where the are more drying of apricots and selling of dried apricots by the roadside. It was hot, so we broke journey to rest under an apricot tree in one of the many orchards. Its almost off season, so there are no fresh apricots on the tree. We recognised the trees from the ripened apricots scattered under the trees.
At Yazikoy we stopped at a local eatery and had rice with kebabs and meatballs for lunch.
The views on the drive from Malatya to Pinarbasi were amazing, hills and valleys with stretches that are desert like, interspersed with shrubs. Here are the photos:
AMAZING VIEWS AS WE DROVE FROM MALATYA TO KAYSERI:
Decades of exposure to the elements uncovers these layers of compressed rocks.
>> Apricot orchards. It must not have been easy planting apricot in such a landscape. At this time of the year, all the fresh apricots have been harvested. We recognised the orchard by the rotten or dried up apricot scattered around the apricot trees.
>> Tohma Canyon in the village of Darende.
Shepherds, with the help of their donkey and dogs, have to walk for miles in search of grazing fields for their flock of sheep.
>> Our Sorento vs The Whomping Willow. Taking yet another short break from the blistering heat.
PHOTOS OF MOSQUES TAKEN EN ROUTE: