Saturday, April 7, 2012

Turkish Delights

There is one huge part of our trip to Turkey that I've completely neglected. The food. I've been dying to talk about it, but it was simply too massive. It had to have it's own post. Speaking of massive and food, everywhere we went the Turkish people were completely shocked we were American. And in the most ass-backward, backhanded compliment ever they informed us, but you are not fat. Which is especially hypocritical coming from Turkish people, who aren't exactly petite.

Here's why...



This is Turkish delight. Which is a jelly-like bite sized cube of fruits and nuts doused in powdered sugar. I thought it was kind of cool, albeit messy. But, Craig and the kids did not find it in any way delightful.



Bread dunked in oil. Leavened bread, not the flat bread I had imaged Turkey to have. Sometimes it had chopped olives, sometimes spices. Sometimes both.



I got a roasted vegetable platter with tomato dip on our first night in Istanbul. Sounds pretty boring right? Wrong. I don’t know what kind of magic oven they cooked this in, but they were simply the best veggies I have ever eaten. EVER.



Turks also love roasted jalapenos. And now, so do I.



Unlike Moroccan cuisine, the Turks use dairy. This was breakfast in our hotel in Cappadocia with a sumptuously salty feta. Thank god I'm not lactose intolerant because I scarfed down more than my fair share of it.



Also in Cappadocia was the world's best lentil soup. Yes, seriously, in the whole world.



Here's the funky cafe where it was served by the server's mom who is the cook.



Oh, the regional specialty in Cappadocia is cooking in little clay pots. Little pots that must be broken open to reveal it's contents. (And apparently a chopped pot does boil.)



I picked up these random cookies at the store. They were sorta shortbread-ish with apricot jam and totally yummy. Unfortunately, the kids also liked them.



This was a gourmet doner kebab. Check it out it's got beef, chicken, lamb AND red cabbage in it. The kids didn't like it. And I'm not one to waste food, so I helped myself to their leftovers.



Then we ate at Ficcin.




Where I had these ficcin' awesome stuffed peppers.



And the kids had these beef and potato filled raviolli things swimming in sour cream. See I told you Turks love dairy. However, my kids did not love this, so again, I had to help finish them off. My jeans were starting to feel tight.



The fish was so fresh, it didn't even smell fishy. But it was so good it would make you cry. Unless that was the onion.



Turkey has a lot of Greek dishes. Like these stuffed grape leaves. Which again, the kids didn't like so much. And neither did Craig really. So I'll take this one for the team.



There's baklava everywhere, another Greek influence. They have any kind of nut you can imagine and even have chocolate and diabetic. Because after you become addicted to the savory sweetness of the baklava, you'll have diabetes. How American is that?



Then there's hummus which every country claims its own. But, we were ready to disown the child who loved hummus so much that the next day we couldn't stand the smell of said child and began hummus restrictions.



This was the sample platter at a place called Altin Balik. It looks good, but it wasn't. And that's also how I describe the whole restaurant. You see, when they brought the bill, they over charged us for everything. And the people next to us too. And later, when we read the on-line reviews, we discovered that they have a long history of over charging tourists.



So, although you can eat the world's largest teenage mutant ninja shrimp there, don't do it.



The night before we left, we ate at the Istanbul Culinary Institute. And that's where I devoured this steak and onion tart.



It was looking like the bitter end of our trip. Until the server brought us some free desserts. Then it was just the bittersweet end.



Well almost, then we had a 9 hour layover in Madrid where I had this sangria. And then I forgot all about how tight my jeans had become with those few extra pounds I gained in Turkey. Huh, I wonder if now I'll get mistaken for a Turk...

15 comments:

Thom Brown said...

Yum! Double yum, in fact.

Joy Page Manuel said...

Oh my gosh...I'm so glad you decided to create a separate post on food, Marie. Everything looks so delicious. I had first heard of Turkish Delight when I watched the first Narnia movie (Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe) and have always wondered how it tastes. I can now imagine better with your pics. It must have been one awesome food trip! Thanks for sharing :-))

Cerebrations.biz said...

You're not playing fair, Marie! I love this food (which also is duplicated in other portions of the Middle East)- and can't even have it until next Sunday (when Pesach is over)- except for chumus- which you can keep any day of the week.

Loved the photos, the descriptions, and the reactions!

christine said...

I love the food in Turkey...A LOT : ) I don't like Turkish Delight...so I'm with your family on this! Your pictures are great- make me want to go again.
Nine hours in Madrid?! You shoulda e-mailed and I coulda swung by and picked you guys up- we woulda met in person...maybe next time!

christine said...

I love the food in Turkey...A LOT : ) I don't like Turkish Delight...so I'm with your family on this! Your pictures are great- make me want to go again.
Nine hours in Madrid?! You shoulda e-mailed and I coulda swung by and picked you guys up- we woulda met in person...maybe next time!

Maddy said...

@ Roy-so sorry! Hope you're enjoying having your kids home.
@ Christine-Somehow it alluded us until the last moment that we had a NINE hour layover there. We took the bus in and Madrid is such a pretty (and clean) city! I'm jealous :)

Maddy said...

Oooppsss this is Marie, guess my daughter is signed in....

A Brilliant Life said...

Thank you so much for this post! I have been dying to go to Turkey JUST TO EAT!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yum.

Leah Griffith said...

This was a ficcan awesome post!!!! I'm hungry and it's your fault;)

MuMuGB said...

It simply looks delicious! How do you manage to stay so skinny with this food? Seriously, what is your secret?

Janine said...

Marie you are making me so hungry and I only just had breakfast! I think I need to take Denis to Turkey so we can explore all this food :)

Alison said...

I've been reading your blog for a couple months now, but, of course, a post on food WOULD be the first one I comment on! Yum! I love Middle Eastern/Mediterranean food, and now I realize I must travel to taste the food in their original settings (um, I'll go to all the places where hummus originated!I'm okay with that!). An ex-boyfriend of mine is from Syria, and I definitely have a thing for Turkish Delights and other sweet/nutty cookies and candies now. Thanks for sharing!

Alison :)

Shari said...

MMM. Must.Have.Turkish.Food.NOW!

The Loerzels said...

@ Allison Thanks for reading and I'd love to go with you to all hummas countries. We just can't bring my son....

Sine said...

My mouth is now watering. For those vegetables. The best grilled (and smothered in oil) eggplant I've ever had was in Turkey. Unfortunately I also had Montezuma's revenge in Turkey.

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