Şalgam is an extremely popular non-alcoholic beverage in Turkey. It is made by fermenting black carrots, red beets, and turnips in a mixture of water and spices. The fermentation process takes several weeks, and the result is a drink with a truly unusual taste.
Şalgam is served chilled, often consumed with meals. According to some research, it is believed to have health benefits, and it is said to be able to reduce the impact of a diet high in sugars and fats (like the Turkish one). Other sources claim that it has a positive effect on hangovers.
In Turkey, Şalgam is just as popular as the yogurt drink ayran. In the city of Adana, the “Adana Kebap and Şalgam” festival is held every year on the second Saturday in December. If you like trying something new, give this drink a try. But be careful, I recommend buying only one bottle and then possibly purchasing more. Şalgam has a truly unusual taste.
Accommodation in Istanbul
I wholeheartedly endorse the Mest Hotel located directly in the heart of Istanbul. The hotel is elegantly renovated, the breakfasts are incredible and the views are spectacular. I last stayed here in the fall of 2022 and will definitely be back again.