12 December 2010

Torshi (pickled vegetables)

Torshi (and the variations turşu, tursu, toursi, turshiya, torshi, τουρσί, turšija, turshi) refers to pickled vegetables in the cuisine of many Balkan and Middle East countries. The word "Torshi" (Persian: ترشی) comes from the Persian word "Torsh", which means "sour".

Torshi is common in Persian, Albanian, Turkish, Armenian, Greek, Bulgarian, Macedonian, Serbian, Bosnian, and Middle Eastern cuisine. Iran boasts a great variation of hundreds of different types of torshi according to regional customs and different events. In some families, no meal is considered complete without a bowl of torshi on the table.  It is a traditional appetizer, meze for rakı, ouzo, tsipouro and rakia.

Making tursu at home is still a widespread tradition during the autumn months, even in the big cities. Tursu is often served in restaurants or it can be bought prepared from large supermarkets.  Recipes comprises of garlic, chili, celery, cauliflower, carrots, beets, shallots, cabbage, aubergines and other vegetables and dried aromatic herbs pickled in vinegar and salt and different spice mixtures which usually include whole black peppers, ginger.  Persian style Torshi includes more vinegar, while Turkish style Turşu includes more salt as an antibacterial agent.  The above extract has been taken from

Torshi (pickled vegetables) are widely used in North African cuisine.  In Tunisia, they are often used as a filling in sandwiches and as an accompaniment to many traditional dishes.

Figure 1:  Torshi (pickled vegetables) on sale at a fruit and vegetable market in La Goulette.
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