Christmas is not complete without homemade sweet cake or pudding bursting with dried fruit. With the holiday season approaching, Turkey's dried fruit export to European countries has also gained pace.
According to figures given by the Ministry of Economy, Turkey exports dried fruits to more than 100 countries. Dried fruits ranging from figs to raisins and apricots to sultanas that are favorite Christmas food items in the Christian world are exported to European countries, mainly to the U.K., Germany, France and the Netherlands. Apart from EU countries, the U.S., Russia, Australia and Canada are the other important destinations for Turkish dried fruits.
Turkey is the largest producer and exporter in dried fruits, especially for sultanas, dried figs and apricots, said Osman Öz, the president of the Dried Fruit Promotion Committee of Turkey. Dried figs, a sacred, symbolic and mystic fruit in ancient Greek and Roman civilizations and in holy books, have a special place. Each September, the export rate increases with more demand for dried fruits in Christmas. "So far this year, Turkey has exported about 12,000 tons of dried figs to the European market. The figure reaches almost 20,000 tons including other target markets," Öz said. The Christmas pudding, filled with dried fruits, is a great ritual for the Victorian-era Christmas and still consumed among the British. Öz said that Turkey exports dried raisins to the U.K. especially for this dessert.
Dried fruits are also popular among Muslims especially during Ramadan as well as during other traditional Christian and Jewish holidays such as Succoth, Hanukkah and Passover.
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