Peach juice is dripping down my chin. Down my right arm. I stand over the kitchen sink slurping ecstatically, sucking the sweet juice from a ripe peach the size of a small melon. A peach rosy and firm and juicy.
The peaches have been fabulous this year. Bigger than I've ever seen peaches. Deeper in color and flavor.
And the cherries. Well, it's been a bumper crop. Dark burgundy red, almost purple cherries. Firm and sweet and juicy with an intense flavor that screams the very essence of cherryness. There's always a bowl chilling in my fridge.
And the melons? I am almost speechless as to the joy of melons. But I must shout to the heavens - like liquid sunshine and honey injected into an ugly rough tan globe. Or the ones that are hard on the outside, striated in green and yellow, and inside a pale green that flows into an apricot yellow as it nears its center. A taste that personifies ultimate palatal delight.
And all so cheap from my local manav, greengrocer's which is run by a Kurdish family. When I walk in one man always shouts: "Hello Madame!" He says something in Turkish and asks how to say it in English. I fill my backpack with fresh produce, pay the equivalent of $5, and saunter the shady back streets, through the hot sticky Istanbul afternoon, to devour my produce at home. In complete and utter joy