Turkey_food

Food in Turkey!

Two words: Fresh and delicious.

My first meal (after a grilled spicy tuna salad sandwich at Starbucks, yes, Starbucks, while waiting for my checked suitcases that took the next flight out of my stopover destination, Zurich), was dinner at a mom-and-pop fish restaurant in Izmit. My plate was served to me with three fish complete with heads and tails, a grilled green pepper and a thick onion slice. After my initial shock from the milky eyeballs and Sophie-sized teeth gaping at me, I concentrated on peeling the meat of the fish away from the bones and was eventually adequately distracted by how good it tasted.

Breakfast is cheese (feta and a light solid cheese), olives, toast, tomato in olive oil and oregano, honey on the comb, and a yummy spread made from tahini and a thick sweet grape syrup called, tahin pekmez.

Fruit is so fresh and juicy. You can eat a lemon like an orange.

Turkey_food2

For my first dinner in Istanbul, we went to Balikci Sabahattin. We had cheese, salad, fruit, steamed eggplant, a hot pepper spread, fish and a melon that had a skin that looked like a watermelon but tasted a bit like rock melon (cantaloupe). It paired perfectly with the creamy feta cheese from the cheese plate. Fresh, light and fulfilling.

Back in Izmit…Wednesday nights are Happy Hour at the Business Complex for Tüpraş, a petroleum company and apparently the largest company in Turkey. My friend and gorgeous host, Hatice, is teaching yoga there. After yoga we went to the company’s “social building” for dinner and afterwards drinks. There I had a traditional soup called, tarhana. You can tell that eons of history has contributed to the perfection in the hearty, tangy flavour. When I finished, I felt like I had just been fed by my Turkish buiuk anne (grandmother).

My favorite thing so far?  Hatice’s homemade lentil soup.
My good-to-have-once-but-let’s-not-do-that-again? Street-vendor grilled corn on the cob.

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