Nilüfer Municipality continues to lead the way in bringing the Geographically Indicated Hasanağa Artichoke to the consumers. Artichoke producers from Hasanağa, who also opened a booth in Nilüfer Cumhuriyet Square, brought the artichokes that they harvested daily to the consumers. Nilüfer Municipality, which works for development of agricultural production and farmers, aims to make healthy food accessible to everyone. Nilüfer Municipality supports the producers in both production, sales, advertising and marketing. Nilüfer Municipality has blended the vision of Year of Agriculture, Year of Food and Year of Climate for promoting the local Hasanağa Artichoke. Nilüfer Municipality continues to support local producers with the pleasure of transferring the experiences it gained from the 13th Hasanağa Artichoke Festival to the coming years.
Hasanağa artichoke is known as the best quality among artichokes grown in Turkey in terms of head size, vitamins, minerals and taste. Nilüfer Municipality has created a sales area next to Nilüfer Bostan sales point in Nilüfer Cumhuriyet Square, in order to bring the famous Hasanağa artichoke directly from producers to the consumers at the first hand. The people of Nilüfer easily reached the Hasanağa artichoke, which attracted great attention with its large, stringless, soft texture and taste. Citizens were able to buy fresh artichokes for the most affordable price, in their cleaned or unsorted form. Citizens who wished to buy artichokes in vacuum packages had the opportunity to store them in the fridge for a long time. Nilüfer Bostan sales points, which have been opened in many urban neighborhoods and selling the products of local producers, are also good sales points for Hasanağa Artichoke. Within the ‘promotion of local foods and new purchasing options’ action of the FUSILLI project and within the scope of ‘promotional activities for the promotion of geographically marked products and products specific to the region’; Municipality also shared the contact information of 62 artichoke producers from Hasanağa on its website, so that consumers could directly reach the farmers and buy products without an intermediary. Citizens who wished to experience Zero KM agriculture on-site, bought artichokes right next to the field or gathered artichokes in the field themselves together with the producers.
There was great enthusiasm in the 13th Hasanağa Artichoke Festival, as in many festivals that were suspended due to the pandemic. At the festival where the “Best Artichoke Producers (Growers)” were determined, many delicacies with artichokes from sweet to salty, had a difficult time deciding. Producers, representatives of local government, women’s solidarity associations, cooperatives, citizens, chefs, leading names of the gastronomy world and food industry were the stakeholders in Hasanağa Artichoke Festival. Those who came to the festival had the opportunity to buy Hasanağa’s first harvest artichokes. Hasanağa Secondary School students‘ dance performance, Roman Orchestra, Folk Dance Ensemble and Popular artist Hüseyin Turan excited the crowd. In the “Best Artichoke Producers (Growers)” competition, the jury members consisting of Provincial Directorate of Agriculture and Forestry, Nilüfer District Directorate of Agriculture and Forestry, Nilüfer Chamber of Agriculture and Nilüfer Municipality Directorate of Environmental Protection and Control, visited the artichoke fields one by one, determined the garden layout, piece size, evaluated according to irrigation and disease controls. As a result of the jury’s evaluation, Ömer Çinkaya was determined as the best artichoke grower of this year at the 13th Hasanağa Artichoke Festival, while Ibrahim Buyruk was awarded the second place and Hüseyin Mete the third place. The cooking contest called “Tastes with Artichokes” was also the scene of exciting moments. Famous chefs, Gastronomy Culture and Travel Association President, a gastronomy writer, an executive chef, a trainer chef, two Vice Mayors and a City Council Member of Nilüfer Municipality were the jury members of cooking contest. In the contest where desserts, pastries and many other dishes competed, the members of the jury had a hard time choosing the best dishes. At the end of the jury’s evaluation, Figen Göksan won the first place with her artichoke dessert, Ayşe Çandar won the second place in the dessert dish with kadaif flavor (sweet pastry), and Pınar Kaynar won the third place with her artichoke dessert. Gift certificates were also given to the other winners.
Nilüfer Municipality registered the Hasanağa Artichoke by a geographical indication, then brought producers, food industry professionals and consumers together upon the product, organized competitions for the emergence of new flavors, went to the field with experts to determine the best producers (growers), increased the awareness and the accessibility of the product.
Author: Mehmet Can Yılmaz (Nilüfer Municipality)
Photos: Photos are courtesy of Nilüfer Municipality Press Office