Friday, June 20, 2008

What I've Been Eating in Istanbul

Today is our last day in Istanbul and I realized that I've barely been posting about what I've been eating! Hubby and I are starting to run out of money$ so we haven't been able to eat out at nice restaurants... but thats okay, we've been eating plenty of yummy and cheap street food! And I didn't get any food poisoning yet either! (knock on wood) Of course we had the obvious, Döner kebab, seen all over the streets of Istanbul. They slice off the juicy meat that has been roasting and turning round and round on a spit...for who knows how long. But it is so good!
We had Döner kebab in pita.
And Döner kebab wraps.
For dinner today I had Balik Ekmek, a grilled fish sandwich with an insert of tomatoes, lettuce, and onions.
mmm...fishy!I got hooked on this yogurt called Kanlica. They sell these yogurts on the ferry boats and they top them off with a heap of powdered sugar. Very addicting.Yesterday, hubby and I made a trip to Buyukada, one of the nine Princes' Islands and had a cheap ($1USD) lunch of börek. Börek is a Turkish pastry stuffed with meat and cheese.On every street corner is a man selling Turkish bagels (simit) from a cart. Smit is kind of like a big sesame bagel. It's only about 50 cents and tastes great, but I wish I had a side of cream cheese with it. People eat it straight up (without any butter or cream cheese), and it's so big that it could be your entire lunch.A big thank you to Peter (the guru of Greek food) from Kalofagas for giving me the advice to visit the Nevizade area. I would have never known to check that place out. It was a street full of restaurants, bars, and plenty of great food vendors. We went at night but the street was bumpin' with lots of people.
I literally went crazy and tried everything. This Tava, pictured above, was sooo good that hubby and I kept going back for seconds. Tava is a stick of fried mussels and they topped it off with some creamy garlic sauce. While there, we also tried Midye Dolma. Inside the shell of the mussel is stuffed with spicy rice. When you buy the Midye Dolma (about 50 cents each) the vendor opens the shell, squirts it with lemon, and uses one side of the shell to scrape out the inside so you can eat it straight from the shell. It tasted like paella and has an amazing burst of flavor. Ahhh Kumpir, one of my favorites. Let me break it down for you... it is basically mashed potatoes, inside of a baked potato, topped with potato salad. Seriously... you will go into a food coma after you eat this. This potato is huge! And you get to choose from a variety of toppings. This triple potato threat was awesome!
Everyone on the streets were eating kokorec, a lamb intestine sandwich. I thought I had enough lamb intestines in Scotland when I tried the Haggis there, but the vendor insisted I try this sandwich... on the house!

The sandwich was spicy, and had the distinct taste of... well, intestines. Although, very kind of the vendor to offer this sandwich for free... I felt bad that I couldn't finish the whole thing. I'm not too sure if I am a fan of this sandwich of lamb guts. Sorry.We washed all that food down with some Efes, Turkish Beer. This beer is pretty good, considering that most of the country is Muslim and don't drink alcohol.For dessert we had Turkish ice cream, also known as Dondurma. I've never had ice cream made from goats milk before. It has a different consistency than regular ice cream and has a fun and interesting chewy texture to it. Dondurma also has a lower level of lactose which is wonderful news for people slightly lactose intolerant like me. The fruits in Istanbul were really good too, especially the cherries. Well, I have to go and catch my flight to the next destination now... Goodbye Turkey, until we eat... I mean meet again.


nita said...

omg! those doners look BOMB and its authentic! yummm! i want to try Kumpir it looks yummy!

you're making me hungry!

Peter M said...

Ahh Lina, the memories...I loved Istanbul..what an enchanting city and I'm so glad you visited Nevizade!

Did the man serving the Dondurma ice cream play tricks with you and the ice cream? lol

Finally, Istanbul's fruit and vegetable stands (Manav) are the best kept I've ever seen!

That Girl said...

When I lived in Austria there was a doner kebab shop on every block, vendor every 2 blocks, and of course, a store front in every subway station!

Mochachocolata Rita said...

oh gosh, everything look so yummy! i so want to try the fried mussels!


tolga erbatur said...

such a great blog , i really enjoyed every single article , Kudos

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