Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Eating Turkey (The Country... Not the Bird)

From Cairo it was a short 2 1/2 hour flight to Istanbul. I have to admit, after Egypt I am a little bit relieved to be visiting a country a little bit more... civilized. Istanbul is somewhat different than I imagined. It's a fairly modern city and no one is using camel or donkey as a method of transportation on the city streets like I saw in Cairo. So I'm going to ignore my mother's advice and eat STREET FOOD while I'm here! Yay! At least the food looks safer than the street food in Egypt... I am loving Turkey so far and the food is Awesome! Today we went to the Grand Bazaar, a labryinth of streets with thousands of shops. The Grand Bazaar is one of the biggest markets in the world and was establisehd in 1453. It was easy to get lost in the bazaar and we ended up walking around for hours but I picked up a few neat souveniers. Walking and shopping sure worked up our appetite and thirst! There are little orange juice stands all over Istanbul and the oranges are so sweet! A cup of fresh orange juice costs about $1.50 but there is no sugar added and it tastes so amazing on a hot day like this.For lunch we tried some Turkish "pizza" or Lahmacun. It is a a round, thin piece of dough topped with minced lamb. You sprinkle it with lemon juice, roll it up like a burrito and eat it up! It was my first time trying this and I likey.We even tried the BBQ corn on the cob from one of the stands on the street. It only costs 80 cents for one!After lunch we explored the Spice Bazaar which was a riot of color and smells. There were lots of exotic spices and food that I've never seen before. I bought some jars of Armenian Saffron to use when I get home as well an assortment of Turkish Delight. I've never had Turkish Delight (lokum) until today, but I love it! For those of you who don't know (like I didn't), Turkish Delight is a confection made from starch and sugar with small pieces of pistachio inside. It's like a small cube of sweet gooeyness. I am for sure buying cases of this stuff to take home to family and friends. After exploring the Spice Bazaar we walked down the Galata bridge where we saw lots of people fishing, suspending their rods below. Once you reach the other side of the bridge you hit the Karakoy fish market where you can buy some of the freshest fish in the city. At some of the stalls you can pick out the fish you want and they will grill it for you, so we decided to have some of that fresh mackerel for our second lunch.The fish was very fresh and simply prepared with only salt for flavoring. It tasted like a typical Japanese dish since we eat a lot of Mackerel in Japan. It got me craving some good sticky Japanese white rice (which I haven't had in a long time). Now what to eat next...

9 comments:

vermichelli said...

Man I havent thought about turkish delight in so long. I only ate it once when I was reading Chronicles Narnia as a child some lady from church made some for us!

vermichelli said...

Is Turkey not cheap? 1.50 for a glass fo OJ seems steep for like a foreign country

VeggieGirl said...

Amazing!

Lina said...

yea... Turkey isn't cheap. Egypt wasn't even that cheap cause the US$ is worth Sh*t! Now for the Europeans and their EUROs, thats a different story. They are rich everywhere they go.

Nat said...

yumm i love lahmacun!! did you eat doner kebabs yet?

Kimberly said...

Hahah, Lina -- got your comment about the donuts and your dogs. Palmer loves croissants, thats his thing. Poor dog! Sounds like your having a blast. miss you!

Peter M said...

Lina, I was in Istanbul last September and it was fabulous. As a food lover, check out the Nevizade area...lots of small taverns, cafes, bars. It's in the Pera (Perim) district, safe and vibrant.

I'll be in Istanbul again later this year.

That Girl said...

I looooove Turkish delight! But it has to be fresh, not the store bought kind.

Elle said...

I love the piles of spices! So pretty!

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