Monday, June 29, 2015

Turkish Food!

This post is going to be all about FOOD!!! yum. I realized as I was writing the post for Istanbul that I had so many things I wanted to share that it wouldn't fit in just one post so I'm writing a separate one for the food because it was just that yummy.

dried fruits in a spice shop

All around the Spice Bazaar there are a myriad of shops full of fish, fruits and vegetables, nuts, spices, candies, etc. Remember, Istanbul is just one big open-air market.
Dried vegetables (L) and dried fruits and nuts (R)

A shop of lovely intestines and such, and even a whole sheep's head!



Our first day in Istanbul, we decided to do a food tour. It was through a company that does all kinds of food tours and cooking classes, but we did a Spice Bazaar and lunch tour. First we started out in the Spice Bazaar trying all different kinds of food.

Dried red peppers, red pepper paste, and grape leaves

For breakfast we had cheese, cured pastrami and olives. 

This sheep's cheese is cured in a goat skin (excuse the blurry picture)

then a pomegranate orange juice

We tried a Turkish Pide which is like a pizza but long and narrow with pointy ends. They can have any kind of ingredients including meat, cheese, and even eggs. We had a lot of these on the road.
Through the shop display case (L) and making pide- he's about to put them in the stone oven (R)

People waiting in line to buy the best coffee in the market!

Then we went into the Spice Bazaar itself and stopped at a spice shop that's been in the family for five generations! We did a spice taste test with a little stick, to see which spices we liked, and then spent tons of money on teas and spices- I was just too excited and I couldn't stop myself!

                                         Spices                                                      Teas


 After the bazaar we took a ferry to the Asian side of Istanbul. We had fried mussels and stuffed mussels.

And Turkish delight made with pistachios, and baklava, and even candied olives!
Candied walnuts, olives and eggplant (L) and different kinds of baklava (R)

A colorful display of marzipan in one sweet shop

Fruit at an outdoor stand (L) and an array of pre-made appetizers (R)

Then we went to a restaurant called Ciya to stuff ourselves to our heart's content. The chef at this restaurant is famous for seeking out lost or little-known recipes from small villages and rural areas in Turkey. 


Clockwise: Turkish bread, which they brush with a yeasty yogurt so it puffs up in the oven-Turkish tabbouleh with pomegranate molasses- hummus- Fava bean paste with dill and olive oil- spring salad with piñon nuts and pomegranate seeds. The drinks are a spring drink made out of kiwi, apple and mint- a red seed drink that was rather bitter- and a salted yogurt drink that is very common and is called Ayran.

 I got so excited about the next dishes that I forgot to even take pictures of them but there was a stuffed eggplant made of dried eggplant and a meat croquette with ground Bulgar and pistachio. 

Clockwise again: Turkish tea- falafel- stuffed black cabbage leaves- pastry tower stuffed with rice, raisins and piñon nuts- some kind of root that has no name in English- red lentil soup 

I also forgot to take a picture of the dessert! It was candied pumpkin covered in tahini and walnuts and as I sit here and write this my mouth is watering.

Kebab stands were everywhere throughout the city

These boats were moored right next to the Galata Bridge, but they aren't for tours. They are big, floating grills- the fishermen on the Galata Bridge sell their fish to these boats, who then grill them and serve them on sandwiches.

And the last meal I have to share with you: dinner with a show! Testi Kebab is a heavenly mixture of meat and vegetables cooked in a clay pot, and brought out to your table on a tray of fire: 

Then they turn it upside down and tap it with a stick until the bottom just pops off:

And they serve you your slow-cooked deliciousness in a bowl.

Now you know what to eat in Turkey. ENJOY!!

Also if you missed Istanbul, click here.

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