Turkey's Cappadocia: A natural 'cold room'

Rooms carved from volcanic rock are used to store about millions of tonnes of lemons and potatoes.

Turkey's Cappadocia: A natural 'cold room'
World Bulletin / News Desk
 
Tourists have long flocked to Cappadocia to look at the moonscape, fairy chimenys and to stay in a cave hotel. But the caves are boosting the local economy for another reason. 

Cappadocia's local city, Nevsehir is being turned into a city of storage, as farmers are using the caves to keep produce fresh for up to six months.

Gurol Cetin, Deputy Manager of Food, Agriculture and Livestock Directorate in Nevsehir told AA that the volcanic land helps to stabilize the ambient temperature throughout the year. 

"The temperature in these rooms never falls below 4 degrees (Centigrade) even on the coldest days of winter. Likewise, the highest temperature in summer remains at 10 to 12 degrees even on the hottest days. The energy required to maintain these temperatures is minimum," Cetin says.

"Potatoes and lemons can be stored for up to 6 months without any loss in nutritional value," he adds. 

The cold rooms in the region also attract produce from neighboring cities, turning Nevsehir into a city of storage, not just production. The number of cold rooms keeps increasing, Cetin notes.

The "natural" underground storage rooms are used to store and preserve a myriad of products. 

There are currently 1,060 cold rooms built by the locals who were inspired by the underground cities dating back to 5th century B.C.

Delivery trucks can easily enter and exit the rooms, which do not require any cooling or heating installations.

Unlike their conventional counterparts, these "natural" cold rooms appear to be immune to weather conditions, maintaining an average temperature of 8 centigrade in winter and summer alike. Moreover, the amount of electricity used to regulate the temperature is less than 1kwH, making them the most energy-efficient cold rooms ever.

Another advantage of the cold rooms carved out of volcanic soft rocks is the lack of weight loss observed in products, which is a by-product of conventional cold rooms.

Quite the contrary, the products stored in the underground chambers of Cappadocia gain ten percent in weight due to the natural moisture in the environment.

Formed at the centre of a once volcanic region, with wind and weather sculpting sensual curves over time and forming the peaks now known as "fairy chimneys", Cappadocia is preserved as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

 

Last Mod: 08 Şubat 2014, 15:22
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