Occasionally, a food may amaze you with its unexpected flavors, texture, and uniqueness. A bright lime green pistachio butter from Koy Pantry, a small Boston-area importer of Turkish artisanal foods, might be just that. Incredibly buttery, the pistachio paste is made from fragrant, meaty Antep pistachios, air-dried and ground to a paste. A sugary sweetness balances the butter’s creamy richness. You might want to spread it on everything. Similarly enticing and unusual are jars of white pumpkin chunks, skinned, pickled, and preserved in simple syrup. Crunchy and slightly gelatinous, it’s nearly a candied treat. You can serve it alone, topped on yogurt or ice cream, or add it to a cheese board. Then there are whole Turkish figs, pickled and cooked, they bathe in a spiced syrup worth saving. Standouts are also an intensely flavored tomato paste, a pepper paste of sweet Kapya peppers, and boxes of bulgur made from Karakilcik, an ancient wheat not easily found. Co-founder Serdar Sinaci, who emigrated from Turkey to Boston in 2000 when he was 9, has a vision for Koy (which means village in Turkish) that springs from his desire to share small-batch products from the region. “Turkish foods imported into this country are mostly larger commercial brands,” says Sinaci. “Our goal is to introduce the flavors and textures dear to us to a broader audience.” And he has had a head start in understanding his audience — he worked for years at Formaggio Kitchen and eventually became a buyer. He worked at Sofra, the Middle Eastern bakery cafe and retailer in Cambridge, as well. “Our region is a melting pot of different cultures, and these are ingredients you can’t always find.” (Pistachio butter, pumpkin, or figs in syrup, $14 to $20; tomato and pepper pastes, $13 and $14; bulgur, coarse and fine, $7 for 8.8 ounces). Available at koypantry.com. Various items are also sold at Bacco’s Wine + Cheese, 31 St. James Ave., Boston, 617-574-1751; Formaggio Kitchen locations; Sofra, 1 Belmont St., Cambridge, 617-661-3161; Spirited Gourmet, 448 Common St., Belmont, 617-489-9463; and others.
ANN TRIEGER KURLAND
Ann Trieger Kurland can be reached at email@example.com.