Shafaq News / Iraqi cuisine is renowned for its diverse array of delicacies, many of which are meticulously crafted by the Iraqi people themselves. Among the highlights of Iraqi family feasts is the beloved "Turshee" (pickles), a staple on dinner tables. In the capital city of Erbil, the production facilities for pickles continue to thrive, drawing substantial attention from locals.
Saman Salim, the proprietor of one of the pickle stores in Erbil, shared insights with Shafaq News Agency, stating, "Turshee comes in several varieties, such as 'Maddabes' (sweet and sour, enriched with date syrup), prepared with both yellow and black vinegar, pomegranate syrup, and even with turnips. Various ingredients are utilized, including cucumber, wild cucumber, cauliflower, and radishes, among others."
Explaining the pickle-making process, Salim elaborated, "In the initial phase, vegetables or fruits are placed in a container with salt and water, tightly sealed for a duration ranging from one to two months. Subsequently, the ingredients are extracted from the brine, and vinegar, pomegranate syrup, or 'Amba' (a tangy mango condiment) is added, making them ready for sale in the markets."
Regarding olive pickling in Turshee, Salim clarified, "Pickled olives also come in various types, including those preserved as they are and those with the pit removed, stuffed with carrots or other fillings. There's also 'Maddabes' olives. Pickled olives are usually sold separately as a distinct category within Turshee. Both locally produced and imported olives are available, with prominent exporting countries to Iraq being Turkey, Syria, Palestine, and others."
As for the prices of Turshee, Salim concluded, "Local Turshee prices start from 2,000 Iraqi dinars per kilogram and can go up to 4,000 dinars, depending on the variety."
Echoing the sentiments of many customers, Sheikhu Mahmoud expressed, "Turshee is one of the most popular items on the dining tables across every Iraqi province. We purchase Turshee in varying quantities, and this is the case for most families, not to mention those who engage in making it themselves."