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A glass of şalgam

Şalgam or Şalgam Suyu[1].[2] It is pronounced "shal-gum"[3] (in translation: "turnip juice") is a popular and traditional [4] beverage from the southern Turkey cities Adana[5] ,[6] Hatay, Tarsus,[7] Mersin,[8] Kahramanmaras, İzmir [9][10] and the Çukurova region.[11] The name şalgam is Persian in origin;[12] in Persian it is written شلغم and means "turnip" (Brassica rapa). The French traveler, naturalist and writer Pierre Belon described the existence of the drink and the practice of its creation already in the 15th century.[13] and it is one of the national drinks since hundred years.[14] It is either called turnip juice, turnip water,[15] shalgam juice,[16] or shalgam water.[17] There exists also a hot [18] version of the drink that is named acil [19] Studies have also shown that the juice of the purple carrot used in Salgam reduces the effects of high-carbohydrate diets.[20]

Besides Raki and Ayran it is drunk after eating Kebab.[21] Very often a slice of purple carrot is added just before drinking and other times wedges of paprica and garlic.[22][23][24][25] [26] [27] Şalgam is often served with the alcoholic drink rakı — not mixed, but rather in a separate glass as both complement the taste of the other drink.[28][29] It is also part of Armenian cuisine.[30] In some parts of Turkey both Ayran and Şalgam are mixed together [31] It is considered to be one of the most drunk beverages during winter in Turkey.[32] The renowned food critic Jim Leff compared its taste to the taste of sour cherries.[33] The Kanji (drink) is a similar drink that is consumed in the Indian subcontinent.[34]


Although the Turkish word şalgam literally means "turnip", şalgam is made with the sour [35] and salty brine.[36] of red carrot pickles, salted, spiced and flavoured with aromatic turnip [37] (çelem) fermented in barrels [38] with the addition of ground bulgur and rock salt.[39][40] It is sometimes sold by street vendors who serve it from large goblets,[41] but there are also specialized shops that sell pickles called turşucu that sell non-industrial versions of Şalgam.[42][43] There is no standard production technique used by the industry,[44][45] but the traditional method uses sourdough fermentation and carrot fermentation.[46] Since 1996 there exist factories for large scale industrial production of Şalgam in Turkey [47] [48] The biggest producer of Salgam is the cooperation Doganay Gida, whose market share of the annual production is nearly 95%.[49] While the drink is exported to both Europe and Japan there exists no large scale importation into America, a company called Ersu tried to sell it as "Black miracle drink" but the campaign was eventually canceled.[50][51] While the industrial method</ref> takes 4–5 days, the traditional method takes 10 to 12 days.[52] The special taste of Şalgam comes from lactic acid [53] and ethanol [54][55] The special process is an adaption of yeast fermentation and spontananeous lactic acid fermentation. [56]

Health benefits[edit]

While şalgam is commonly recommended as a cure [57] for hangovers, consuming excess amounts may cause bloating according to some sources.[58] According to local Turkish custom it is drunk to help digestion. [59] It has been reported that the drink has positive health benefits,[60] because its anthocyanidic contents reduce health disease risks and the propability of carcinogenic uccurences.[61] Aldough some researchers believe that its high salt ratio could be dangerous for people with heart diseases.[62][63] It contains β-carotene, group B vitamins, calcium, potassium, and iron and is drunk for its antiseptic effects.[64]

It was reported in academic journals that it helps to remove toxins from the human body, can also help with reducing kidney stones. It is also used to treat pubertal acne, eczema, abscesses, whitlow, and hematomas.[65]

Şalgam is considered a functional food by some researchers, since it is a diuretic that also cleans lungs and bronchi.[66]


Şalgam, has been celebrated as a festival in Adana since 2010. The World Rakı Festival (aka Adana Kebap ve Şalgam Festival), emerged from a hundred-year tradition of enjoying kebabs, with liver, şalgam and rakı. The event turned into a nationwide popular street festival; street musicians playing drums and zurna entertain visitors all night long on the second Saturday night of December.[67]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ UTUS, D. 2008. The effect of black carrot (Daucus carota) size usage on the quality of shalgam production. MSc Thesis, p. 55, Cukurova University, Turkey (in Turkish).
  2. ^ Erginkaya Z, Hammes WP (1992) Şalgam suyu fermantasyonu sırasında mikroorganizmalarin gelişimi ve izole edilen laktik asit bakterilerinin tanımlanmaları üzerine bir araştırma
  3. ^ http://www.allaboutturkey.com/icecekler.htm
  4. ^ Ercelebi, E.A.; Özkanli, O. A traditional fermented beverage: Shalgam juice. In Proceedings of the 1st International Symposium on Traditional Foods from Adriatic to Caucasus, Tekirdag, Turkey, 15–17 April 2010; pp. 1019–1020. (In Turkish)
  5. ^ https://www.researchgate.net/publication/321057581_The_Culinary_Culture_and_Traditional_Foods_of_Adana_Province
  6. ^ Erginkaya, Z.; Aksan, E. Adana province traditional beverage: Shalgam. In Proceedings of the Traditional Foods Symposium, Van, Turkey, 23–24 September 2004. (In Turkish)
  7. ^ https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2012/mar/23/antioch-turkey-culture-food
  8. ^ Yener, D. A Research on the Physical, Chemical, Sensory and Microbiological Properties of Shalgam Taken from Different Sales Places in Mersin Province Center. Master’s Thesis, Trakya University, Tekirdag, Turkey, 1997. (In Turkish)
  9. ^ Tanguler H, Erten H (2012b) Chemical and microbiological characteristics of shalgam (şalgam); a traditional Turkish lactic acid fermented beverage. J Food Quality 35: 298–306.
  10. ^ https://books.google.de/books?id=LUJZDwAAQBAJ&pg=PA657&dq=salgam&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwif0ea9pZfbAhXJJVAKHaxuCv44ChDoAQgmMAA#v=onepage&q=salgam&f=false
  11. ^ https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/8641/7bf9791aa75fcdf33dd0d5a8e9e1145af46b.pdf
  12. ^ "Türk Dil Kurumu Ana Sayfası". Retrieved 3 January 2016. 
  13. ^ Geschichte der Rübe (Beta) als Kulturpflanze: Von den Ältesten Zeiten a bis zum Erscheinen von Achard’s Hauptwerk 1809, Springer-Verlag, 8 Mar 2013, By Edmund O. von Lippmann, page 89
  14. ^ http://www.turniprecipes.co.uk/drinking-turnip-juice-for-good-health/
  15. ^ http://www.theturkishcuisine.com/turkish_drinks.html
  16. ^ https://books.google.de/books?id=RPQpDwAAQBAJ&pg=PT336&dq=Shalgam+Juice&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwio_s2rr5fbAhUEKVAKHW2CC6QQ6AEINzAD#v=onepage&q=Shalgam%20Juice&f=false
  17. ^ http://www.mdpi.com/2306-5710/3/4/49/pdf
  18. ^ Raymonde Sneddon, Bilingual books: biliterate children learning to read through dual language books ,Trentham Books in partnership with Mantra Lingua, 30 Nov 2009, Page 112
  19. ^ https://books.google.de/booksid=NuFhDAAAQBAJ&pg=PT53&dq=salgam+suyu&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj9mPbeo5fbAhUNUlAKHSdVAyA4HhDoAQhOMAY#v=onepage&q=salgam%20suyu&f=false%7Caccessdate=27 July 2015}}
  20. ^ https://books.google.de/books?id=Tz4Fa7r9wgIC&pg=PA99&dq=purple+carrot+juice&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwigj_nGoK3bAhUEyqQKHSEVCpcQ6AEIQTAF#v=onepage&q=purple%20carrot%20juice&f=false
  21. ^ https://books.google.de/books?id=Rf9UDwAAQBAJ&pg=PT27&dq=salgam+suyu+geschichte&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwik0rP48ZvbAhVHY1AKHVsJDAsQ6AEILzAB#v=onepage&q&f=false
  22. ^ https://www.bruzz.be/culinair-ontdekt-salgam-suyu-2013-02-14
  23. ^ https://atdaa.com/meet-one-of-the-best-authentic-beverages-in-turkey-salgam
  24. ^ http://antalianyc.com/the-best-turkish-drinks/
  25. ^ http://howinturkey.com/turkeys-special-beverages/
  26. ^ "Şalgam Suyu". Istanbul Food. Retrieved 21 May 2018. 
  27. ^ http://berfendber.blogspot.de/2012/10/turk-sokak-yiyecekleri-salgam-suyu.html?m=1
  28. ^ https://www.tastingtable.com/drinks/national/pickleback-cocktail-jose-andres
  29. ^ https://munchies.vice.com/de/article/pgx8zm/das-nationalgetrank-der-turkei-ist-mehr-als-nur-ein-billiger-schnaps-396
  30. ^ http://www.troyrecord.com/general-news/20150830/annual-armenian-festival-raises-funds-for-steeple-renovation-operation-costs
  31. ^ https://takingteainturkey.com/2013/04/17/salgam-cant-live-without-it/
  32. ^ http://www.cocktailsoftheworld.com/drinks-of-the-world/in-europe/turkey/salgam.html
  33. ^ The Eclectic Gourmet Guide to Greater New York City, by Jim Leff. 1998, page 82
  34. ^ https://paglichefinturkey.wordpress.com/2015/03/05/the-alternative-drink/
  35. ^ ERTEN, H., TANGULER, H. and CANBAS, A. 2008. A traditional Turkish lactic acid fermented beverage: Shalgam (Salgam). Food Rev. Int. 24, 352–359
  36. ^ Wild Fermentation: The Flavor, Nutrition, and Craft of Live-Culture Foods https://books.google.de/books?id=oJG-DAAAQBAJ&pg=PA79&dq=salgam+suyu&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjjpoaropfbAhWNmbQKHeqIClUQ6AEIMTAC#v=onepage&q=salgam%20suyu&f=false. Retrieved 21 May 2018.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  37. ^ CANBAS, A. and FENERCIOGLU, H. 1984. A study on the production of shalgam. Gida (Turk. Food J.) 9, 279–286 (in Turkish).
  38. ^ CANBAS, A. and DERYAOGLU, A. 1993. A research on the processing techniques and characteristics of shalgam beverage. Doga-Turk. J. Agric. For. 17, 119–129 (in Turkish).
  39. ^ https://books.google.de/books?id=H5cFDAAAQBAJ&pg=PA99&dq=salgam&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwif0ea9pZfbAhXJJVAKHaxuCv44ChDoAQg5MAM#v=onepage&q=salgam&f=false
  40. ^ "Take a sip: salgam suyu". Chicago Reader. Retrieved 27 July 2015. 
  41. ^ http://www.fourmirouge.org/en/hdrink/index_turkey.html
  42. ^ https://atdaa.com/meet-one-of-the-best-authentic-beverages-in-turkey-salgam
  43. ^ https://www.dailysabah.com/expat-corner/2015/12/11/five-staples-for-a-traditional-turkish-pantry
  44. ^ OZTURK, O. 2009. A research on the composition of shalgam beverages obtained from Adana Market. MSc thesis, p. 43, Cukurova University, Turkey (in Turkish).
  45. ^ https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/87559120802089324
  46. ^ Kelebek, H. Phenolic composition and antioxidant properties of shalgam: Traditional beverage from southern Turkey’s cities. In Proceedings of the 2nd International Symposium on Traditional Foods from Adriatic to Caucasus, Struga, Macedonia, 24–26 October 2013; p. 551
  47. ^ http://www.foodturkey.com.tr/doganay-constructs-best-facility-salgam/
  48. ^ http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/japanese-to-get-a-taste-for-turkeys-salgam-29386
  49. ^ https://www.khs.com/en/media/press-articles/press-releases/detail/the-worlds-first-company-to-promote-the-innovative-khs-plasmax-technology-to-consumers/
  50. ^ https://books.google.at/books?id=sV5tBQAAQBAJ&pg=PT66&dq=black+carrot+juice+turkey&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwi83tPp9p3bAhXPUlAKHXgsByIQ6AEILzAB#v=onepage&q=black%20carrot%20juice%20turkey&f=false
  51. ^ https://books.google.at/books?id=5DeCCgAAQBAJ&pg=PA68&dq=black+carrot+juice+turkey&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwi83tPp9p3bAhXPUlAKHXgsByIQ6AEIMzAC#v=onepage&q=black%20carrot%20juice%20turkey&f=false
  52. ^ http://www.mdpi.com/2306-5710/3/4/49/pdf
  53. ^ AYDAR, A. 2003. The influence of Lactobacillus plantarum addition on the composition and quality of shalgam. MSc Thesis, p. 35, Trakya University, Turkey (in Turkish).
  54. ^ ANONYMOUS. 2003. TS 11149 Standard of Shalgam Beverage. Turkish Standards Institute, Ankara..
  55. ^ GUNES, G. 2008. A study on the determination of the most suitable quantity of black carrot (Daucus carota) for the production of shalgam. MSc Thesis, p. 48, Cukurova University, Turkey (in Turkish).
  56. ^ https://www.ernaehrungs-umschau.de/print-artikel/14-01-2004-microbiological-and-chemical-properties-of-a-drink-called-salgam/
  57. ^ Ayin Tarihi, 1937, Issues 37-38, Page 563
  58. ^ http://www.mezze.com.tr/istanbul%20mag%20copy.pdf
  59. ^ https://munchies.vice.com/en_us/article/pgx8zm/drink-turkeys-answer-to-the-brooklyn-pickleback
  60. ^ ARICI, M. 2004. Microbiological and chemical properties of a drink called shalgam. Ernahrungs-Umschau 51, 10–11 (in German)
  61. ^ Erginkaya, Z.; Hammes, W.P. A research on the identification of isolated lactic acid bacteria and on the developing microorganisms during the fermentation of shalgam juice. Gida 1992, 17, 311–314. (In Turkish)
  62. ^ https://www.ntv.com.tr/saglik/kalp-ve-tansiyon-hastalarina-salgam-suyu-uyarisi,p2CXO-UpWUaILMFv9gQa6A
  63. ^ Functional Properties of Traditional Foods, edited by Kristberg Kristbergsson, Semih Otles, page 101
  64. ^ http://www.mdpi.com/2306-5710/3/4/49/pdf
  65. ^ https://books.google.de/books?id=an9xCwAAQBAJ&pg=PT186&lpg=PT186&dq=Gallon++%C5%9Falgam&source=bl&ots=Utx7h_KiYI&sig=_T39GGgcqhXqS3tSKmydiaBnSgA&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwinufPHs5rbAhUFKuwKHY4yAqgQ6AEIeTAO#v=onepage&q=Gallon%20%20%C5%9Falgam&f=false
  66. ^ http://www.mdpi.com/2306-5710/3/4/49/pdf
  67. ^ "Rakıcılar bir kez daha Dünya Rakı Gününde buluşuyor". CNN Türk. 27 November 2014. Retrieved 3 January 2016.