Oh the tastes of Istanbul!!!!!!

By September 17, 2016Europe, Middle East, Turkey

This will be my last blog about Istanbul and I hope you have found these to be informative, entertaining, and even ispiring as you venture out into the world. Tomorrow I will start writing about my pilgrimage in Israel and I hope you will not miss any of my entries as I follow the life and ministry of Jesus. LIKE svGuidingLight on Facebook to make sure you see all the blogs and pictures.

Today I want to tell you about some of the food my Turkish friend, Melek, had me try. I pretty much told her to take me wherever she wanted for dinner each night as long as I got to try a variety of traditional food. Boy did she have fun with that. 🙂

One night she took me out for meza and raki and this was an experience. Meza is basically Turkish tapas or small dishes of different foods. The owner brought a big tray to our table with 20-30 tiny rectangle dishes. Each one had something different in it from fish, to salad, veggies, ect and were wrapped in plastic. I thought we were picking what we wanted and he would give it to us then, but what he did instead was move it to the back of the tray. That way when he got to the kitchen he could tell the chef what to cook for us. Raki is the traditional drink with meza and has a black licorice flavor to it.

A couple nights we had kebabs and this is not what we call shish kebab in the States. Forget the alternating chunk of meat, onion, green pepper. In Turkey they have 12-15 different types of Kebabs (maybe more, I don’t know) and not

Turkey - Istanbul - Food - Kumpir

This is kumpir and you can see all the toppings we had on it.

all of them even come on a skewer. The first night we had ciger kebabs which is liver on a skewer and was WAY better than it sounds as you wrap it like a fajita. The other time I had adana kebab and this one was meat on a plate with roasted onion on one side and something else that I can’t remember on the other.

After we finished the boat tour I told you about two days ago we had kumpir, which is a baked potato mixed with butter. After that you choose what other topping you want from so many heaping mounds you do not know where to start. Melek ended up getting what I thought was a weird combo, but it turned out to really work together. She did say you can get these many places, but the Ortakoy area right next to the boat tour is the only place they are really good.

Turkey - Istanbul - Food - Juice Stand

One of many fruit stand in Istanbul. They always had sliced open fruit as part of thier displays.

My favorite part was trying different deserts (those of you who know me well are not surprised by this 🙂 ) and I had keskul (my favorite as it had a vanilla pudding type of texture and flavor), ekmek kadayifi (was cake like but soaked in juice with whipped cream),  kunefe (a cheesy delight with pistachios on top). Another treat you will find everywhere are fruit drink stands. These are not smoothies, but freshly squeezed fruit juice. They were so good, made right in front of you, and very refreshing. Plus, their displays were something to make you drool.

The best part about the food in Turkey is the cost. Every night we walked in and she ordered what she wanted me to try without me looking at the prices. We usually had drinks with dinner (sometimes alcoholic and sometimes not) and sometimes we had a dessert. When the bill came it was usually between 20 and 30 dollars…for both of us with drinks. As Melek would say “I just love it”. 🙂

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