Sweet Lips for Ladies, Sweet Thighs for Sultans, Sultan’s Fainted and Sultan’s Delice! Turkish dishes have the most charming and slightly naughty names. Names that conjure memories of the lavish Sultan and his harem, full of voluptuous beauties. Turkish cuisine is not unlike the harem. It’s a mysterious and sophisticated fusion between the Middle East Mediterranean and Mediterranean, mixed with a bit of Central Asia. Here’s what foodies looking for experiences in Turkey this summer can find.
Raki and fish under the Galata Bridge
Galata Bridge has a lot of activity and chaos. Over the bridge, tramways, buses and cars trundle between Eminonu (Karakoy) and Eminonu. Fisherman line the bridge all day, night and every hour, casting their lines in the Golden Horn’s freezing waters. The mosque calls, ferries roar and the seagulls soar. As you cross the bridge, another assault on your senses awaits. “Yes please!” “You look hungry!” Take a look at the menu! Pick the spot with the best atmosphere/most persuasive waiter. Get a table, relax and “ala Turka”, enjoy a round Meze, freshly grilled fish and a glass aniseed flavored vodka. You can watch the ferries scuttle the waters, as well as the sun set over the domes & minarets from old ‘Stamboul. You should always ask for the price when ordering fish from these restaurants. Balik Noktasi is highly regarded for its high quality fish and exceptional service. Take a seat near the water for stunning views over Topkapi Palace & Haghia Sophia. This may be the place where you get the best fish you ever taste.
In the area where the grape is planted
Urgup is where you will find the internationally acclaimed Turasan Winery. The winery is known for its Wine Festival, held every June. Slowly but surely Turkey improves its wine industry. Tursan’s excellent red wines are really quite good. Kalecik Karasi 2005 is a fruity Pinot style red wine, perfect for an afternoon meal. Visit the Orient Restaurant for delicious local wines and mouthwatering entrees in Goreme.
kebab in Cappadocia
Testi Kebab, an unusual dish, is one you won’t miss. Combining the pottery industry of the region with the ranching sector, beef, lamb, or vegetables are placed in terracotta vessels and heated over coals for 5 to 8 hours. With the help of a large knife, the vessel can be carefully opened at the table. The tender meat is served with rice. Somine Restaurant in Urgup is highly rated for its testi Kebab as well as its other dishes.
Midye dolma at the Aegean/Mediterranean
If you’re visiting Turkey’s Aegean and Mediterranean coasts in summer, you’ll see midye dolla vendors selling carefully stacked purple mussels with yellow lemons. Sometimes, they’re packed on ice. Dolma, which literally means “stuffed” (in Turkish), refers to the little morsels that have been steamed open. Then they are stuffed with a spicy rice mix and pink mussel-meat mixture. The mussels come in two sizes, and cost approximately.50 to.50 kurus each for the small and a little over a lira per for the large. You will generally need to move up to the small table at midye and point out the size that you would like. The vendor will then open the shells and slip one underneath the meat or rice. The vendor will give it to you with just a quick squeeze. You can use the shell as a spoon to help you shovel it in. But, wait! One is ready and waiting for another, and so on. He will continue to prepare them until they are finished. Pay him by counting the empty shells. Midye Dolma will be found in most seaside towns, particularly near bars and late-night taverns. These can be ordered from restaurants using the appetizer (meze), menu.
Bringing the home
Take home some inspiration and recipes from your Turkish culinary adventures. Food & Wine magazine has called Engin akin “Turkey’s Martha Stewart & Julia Child rolled together”. Three days of hands-on cooking instruction are provided by her cooking school near Bodrum. The class also includes a day spent cruising on a yacht along with lunch and visiting local produce markets. An author of cookbooks and a TV personality, this class offers a rare chance to learn healthy and delicious Turkish gastronomy recipes.