Long time no see. My traveling feet took me away to Turkey to escape from a routine of everyday life. I assume i don’t have to mention that I stuffed my face there and was a bit deranged with all the spices. It’s my weakness, I can’t help it. 😛
So let’s begin with my foodie trip!
First night we dinned like queens so we ordered tespi kebab- kebab in a pot. It’s meat: chicken and beef with vegetables like paprika, eggplant and tomato, all baked in this pot. The top of the pot is closed with dough. It arrives in a pot and then the happy waiter cracks it with a small hammer.
CRACKING THE POT
There is also Antalya kebab, it’s a more spicy version of this kebab and is baked with cheese.
They usually drink ayran with a meal, a beverage that is similar to yogurt, a bit saltier and more watery. Like someone put salt and mineral water in yogurt. Sounds weird, but it’s quite delicious and goes great with almost every meal (at least I think so)
We also ate lahmacun, which Turks call their own pizza, but it reminds me more of a soft dough with vegetables, minced meat and tomato sauce. 😀
Peynirli pide is a dough with melted cheese that stretches to infinity, but tastes great.
Here are my favorites:
Iskender kebab which are actually thin slices of beef on top of pieces of bread, covered with tomato sauce and sour cream. You usually get potatoes with it.
But my ultimate favorite is the most common durum tavuk kebab. Pieces of chicken wrapped in a tortilla type of bread with lettuce, tomatoes, onions and yogurt sauce. I would sell my soul for this. They also use a lot of lamb, but they usually mix it with sheep meat, and I can’t stand the sheep fat, so I was avoiding that kind of meat.
TAVUK DURUM KEBAB
Before every meal, you get meze, and they are on the house. It’s a variety of sauces (yogurt, hot pepper) and 1001 types of vegetables and salads.
Food that is the best to eat while you walk around is simit. It’s a sort of a bagel completely covered with sesame. It’s soft and crunchy in the same time. Goes great with Ayran, and I really like sandwiches with simit.
Don’t think they only eat meat, meat and nothing but meat. They use a lot of vegetables, dough and cheese, so it’s a veggie friendly country.
Sweets! Yes, yes, yes! I don’t usually like sweets, but there are couple of desserts I won’t refuse.
Turkish delight in million and one type of flavor, my favorites are pistachios in coconut and pomegranate.
Baklava! There are hundreds of types of baklava in Turkey, every size and taste you can imagine, but it is significantly different from Bosnian baklava. While the Bosnian baklava is a huge juicy piece of cake (like lasagna) which swims around in sherbet, Turkish baklava is smaller and drier. It’s mostly made from pistachios because the pistachios grow there, especially in the Antep region. My favorite is shobyet, looks like a little triangle and is stuffed with pistachios and sort of sweet cream.
But the bestestststst dessert ever (along with my uncle’s schenockle and my mum’s cheesecake) is kunefe. It’s like the most perfect thing ever, a wet dream. It’s baked cheese with kadaif dough (like little sweet noodles) in sherbet. And then on the top they put sweet cream and pistachios. Pure delight.
The meal is usually followed by the Turkish black tea, also on the house. But in some restaurants they will bring you a new cup as soon as you drank half of the one you have. In case you don’t want more tea, just place the tea spoon over the top. Besides the black tea, Turks also drink a lot of apple tea (and sometimes pomegranate).
Don’t leave Turkey without:
LOADS OF SPICES
TEXTILE OR PASHMINAS
SOME SORT OF TEA
When it comes to spices they mostly use: sumac (dark red powder, sour taste, used for meat (minced) and salads), mint and pul biber (a sort of Turkish chili pepper with a beautiful aroma).
Things you have to do in Turkey:
– visit Kapadokya, a beautiful area with unusual rocks and even more unusual history
– visit Pamukkale
– fly with a hot air balloon
– žlearn how to make a carpet
– relax in a hamam
– admire the creativity
While bargaining be ruthless because they can sense your weakness, and look the firmly in the eyes. When it comes to shops I strongly recommend LC Waikiki and Mavi, two very good brands. Everything else you should find on bazaar, but be very careful if you’re going to buy leather or gold/jewels because they will search you on the customs.
Strolling around the town can be exhausting so treat yourself with freshly squeezed pomegranate/orange/grapefruit juice…
…or with super creamy home made ice cream (goat milk, vanilla and pistachio flavors are the best). Don’t get surprised if the ice cream man makes a show while preparing your order, it’s a tradition.
With this I am finishing this seyahatname or so called travel journal, hoping it will be useful/helpful for some of you,