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Istanbul Food

I am excited to explore Turkish Food. Typically in the past I have been able to get a handle on typical food served and what to expect on a menu. Of course, it helps knowing a bit of the Latin languages. I've been able to navigate my way around French, Spanish and Italian menus just knowing a few words and having cooked typical dishes. I also was able to eventually manage a Dutch menu knowing a few typical words for meats, vegetables and styles of cooking. But I'm struggling Turkish dishes.

Another challenge is to get to know typical meat dishes for G since he doesn't eat meat. There will be many options but a few might trip us up like some of the stuff (dolmas). The breads will be very interesting from the sesame or nigella seed simit and the flat lavaş. Wonderful cold and hot mezes. If it turns cool, we will enjoy soups including red lentil soup. I will want to try the meats especially the lamb.

Some sites that have been very useful:

Wikipedia Turkish Cuisine
Istanbul Eats - Local expert who highlights many of the smaller home style cooking
Istanbul archives from Parla Food
Istanbul archives from Eating Asia
Deciphering what is on the menu
Istanbul Food

I'm also looking forward to trying several of the sweets. The ice cream, dondurma, is thick like taffy. It is thickened with the root of an orchid sahlep. Turkish Delight is a gelled candy similar to Aplets and Cotlets. And of course lots of Baklava. I'm going to search out branches of Güllüoglu. I'm also hoping to try baked quinces which is a fall specialty.

Comments (2)


Hi Marta --

I think I had the best (pita style) bread ever in Istanbul. They come as a matter of course in restaurants, so you don't have to order them. And they seem happy to replenish the basket for free. :)

Also would recommend having at least one meze dinner -- kind of like the Turkish (and Greek) equivalent of tapas.



Marta, I recall eating lots of great meze; eggplant dishes, salads and lentil dishes; wonderful soups. And milk puddings seemed to be everwhere. I'm sure you'll have so many choices, vegetarian and non-vegetarian.

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