Month: February 2015

Istanbul

Istanbul

‚ÄčTurkey is a despicable meat. It tastes like dry old farts. The only good thing about it is that we only have to suffer its indecency once a year. Henceforth, travelling to Istanbul in December looking for food and adventure, I wasn’t expecting much, but soon realised how wrong I was. My favourite photo filter was on and my belt was loosened. Let me take you with me on my culinary tour of one of the best cities I’ve ever been to and eaten in.

Day one: Bagel or Pretzel?

I’m not sure but these stands were bloody everywhere. I’m not sure what it was exactly but it was super dry and not really seasoned enough. I like all the sesame seeds that gave nice crunch but it could’ve been moister (god what a disgusting word). However at the airport on our way home, and drunk on duty free lager I suddenly had an incredibly strong craving for these dry little bad boys, it was all I wanted, they had found a place in my diet and my life and I understood. God Bless Simit.

Breakfast!

Turkish breakfasts have got the right idea. I’ve never understood why we are all obsessed with sweet cereal and fruity yogurty things at breakfast. What I want is savoury in the mornings. Salty cheese and olives, stuffed chilli peppers, crunchy bread and fresh tomatoes. I’ve never felt like more of a champion after devouring this…

Late Night Munchies

Istanbul has rewritten the rules of late night drunk munching. Whilst we indulge in a beer, wine, vodka red bull, whatever your tipple of choice, and end up with shish kebab all over our happy drunk faces, our Turkish counterparts have their kebabs and lunch time and late night drunk munching is reserved for the humblest of meals. Soup. Wait and think about it for a minute. What a genius idea. Hot, salty liquid with vegetables. Exactly what you need after a cheeky bender of any magnitude. Although on our trip we never got soup whilst drunk (it’s really hard to change drunken habits). I thought I better find out what the fuss was about with Turkish soup and ordered some at lunch one day which turned out to be…

The Best Fish Soup in the World

Came served with orange on the side which went so perfectly with the savouriness of the soup. I have yet to find out the recipe behind this magic. My guess would be slightly smoked white fish, tiny bits of carrot and spring onion, a really light skimmed cream and some really good fish stock. Heavenly. 

 

Mackerel Roll

Istanbul and I it appears, have one crucial thing in common. An obsession with Mackerel! Galata bridge in the centre of the city is constantly lined with fisherman trying to catch some of these oily beauties and under the bridge is sold the most delicious rolls with the salty mackerel, sweet onions and roasted peppers in crusty bread for just a couple of lire. I would’ve added some fennel mayonnaise or something else sharp to jazz up this lush little sandwich even more but all in all one of the best meals of the trip.

Mystery deliciousness

Now this meal was a strange one, we were incredibly hungry one night at about midnight, found a place with a very grumpy old lady in the window making flat bread on a giant metal chimney and we thought, yes, this is the place. Now if i’m honest, my Turkish is rusty at best and this menu was giving nothing away. We went for the brits-abroad staple of pointing at some stuff and smiling. And low, that was the right idea. What arrived was exactly what I needed but i’m buggered if I have any idea what it was. Some kind of soft wheaty grained chicken risotto, dumplings stuffed with some kind of offaly goodness that made it taste like haggis and some dolme in cabbage leaves with a spicy sauce and yogurt. I guess sometimes its best not to ask questions, just point, nom and enjoy. If anyone recognises these tasty treats, comment below…