Turkish And Ottoman Cuisine

12:48 PM

I visited the beautiful city of Istanbul for the second time in less than eight months.  I could not resist the low fare travelzoo was advertising and I was in need of a bit of a mental break.  I will be sharing a few photos at some point but not many as i've already taken care of the obligatory tourist "must see" on my previous trip.  You can revisit them here, here, and here.  

This trip was much more low key.  It was, for me, a mental escape and affirmation that i needed to make changes in my life.  It was a quiet and subdue week.  I didn't necessarily care to see anything or anyone.  I just wanted to enjoy the day as it came.  Thankfully i was with two of my very skillful travel buddies that made it a point to keep us active.  I loved it.  The less i had to think the better.  

This trip i shamelessly took advantage of the food.  Turkish food is something to be reckon with.  Their ottoman cuisine style of serving food can be both deceiving and dangerous.  You believe you will be consuming less but in the end greed takes over and alas, more dishes arrive at the table leaving you with an entire feast to devour.  No complains. The devouring was done in good health.  

We had many highlights during this trip but amongst them stood out the wonderful people we made friends with.  Business owners, random people on the street, our airbnb host, and our new friends Derya and Gökhan.  We came to befriend these guys thanks to Sheila's wonderful idea to try eatwith.com in Instanbul.  If you are not familiar with eatwith.com it is a share economy platform that allows chefs and aspiring chef to cook homemade meal and host guest in their very home. Its a great opportunity to try some new culunary delights all the while meeting new people and making new friends.  Sheilas research took us to Derya's personalized page.  He is top amongts the only five chefs currently in Istanbul to host and use the eatwith.com platform.

Derya served a traditional Turkish Ottoman style meal.  It was all quite wonderful and well presented. The meal was divine and just the right portions, the conversation flowed easily, and the company was magnificent.  A great time. It felt really good to try something new without any inhibition or expectations.  The experience of a wonderfully home cooked meal and meeting new people really gave me a warm feeling - something i hope to experience again soon.

Derya is quite passionate about his new found craft and love for cooking.  You can follow his ventures on his personal website foodiebackpacker.com.

And now some images and description of our scrumptious Turkish meal.

Feta Cheese (Beyaz Peynir)
Eggplant and Yogurt Salad  (Palıcan Salata): Smoked eggplants mixes with garlic, yogurt and olive oil 
Chilli Tomato Salad (Ezme Salata): Tomatoes, Onions, Garlic, Parsley, Basil and Olive Oil sliced to little pieces and mizes with red pepper and tomato paste

Börek: Pastırma , Mozarella, Tomato and Green Pepper in Pastry

Albanian Style Fried Lamb Liver (Arnavut Ciğeri): Fried Lamb Liver seasoned with spices

Almond Rice Pilaf (Bademli Pilav): Buttered Rice with Almonds
Quince and Lamb in Stew (Ayvalı Kebap): Lamb meat with Quince, cooked in Stew Slowly (3 hours)

Helva in Oven (Fırında Helva): Smashed Helva, Lemon Juice, Orange Juice and Milk. Cooked in Oven

Bon Appetite Lovers

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  1. It's so funny I was wondering last night about eatwith while I was reminiscing on Instanbul when watching Shahs of Sunset. And to my surprise here it is your post, this experience sounds awesome I am definitely going to consider using this when traveling.


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