Not only kids happen to pick unripe fruits in Istanbul—green plums are a weakness of grown-up Istanbulites as well. Because of their appealing sourness, green plums are eaten even more often than mature ones. In Turkish, such a small cherry-shaped green plum has a simple name: erik.
Green plums are consumed raw with a pinch of salt or added to salads, stews, and soups—the piquant erik adds unique flavour to any dish. Green plums may also be used to make a savoury tart sauce—an indispensable seasoning for your meal, kind of similar concept like Tkemali sauce in Georgia.
Such a delicacy is available in the market stalls of Istanbul between mid-April and mid-May. In June the plums remaining on the trees become golden-hued, and their acidic tinge converts into a syrup-like sweetness.