Once upon a time, there were no shortcuts. Not even in the kitchen.
Once upon a time spices were valued as gold, treated equally and traded across seas and lands.
And Istanbul was in the heart of it.
Lets nor forget the Grand bazaar of Istanbul, surviving the test of time.
As Wikipedia teaches us: “The Grand Bazaar in Istanbul is one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world, with 61 covered streets and over 4,000 shops on a total area of 30,700 m², attracting between 250,000 and 400,000 visitors daily.”
People was taught since the dawn of time to shop for the best, the most fresh and most fragrant of ingredients.
No wonder that a delicious cuisine emerged from this love for produce, and love for family, as I told you about in a previous post.
Stepping out of the bazaar, with spices still tickling your nostrils, you are at least hungry if not famished.
And oh my dear reader: you could spend an entire season here and you will not have time to eat in all the restaurants or try all the street food.
Lots of food, dishes, people cooking it and people inviting you for tasting it.
This lady for example: was not frying pies for her family, but for me and you.. in the entrance of a little traditional restaurant.
A part of her energy and soul were there, in her fluffy pies.. just remember that not everyone could do that and still smile after a serious 8 hours embraced by the heat of a pan in the middle of summer.
Appreciating her for doing something I am not willing to do too soon. Grateful for such people.
And if a pie was not what you craved for, perhaps a Shish kebab could satisfy your lunch appetite .
The tenderness of the lamb, well marinated and barbecued are beyond my words.
And again… not sure about lamb? Perfect.
Let your steps take you in such a cozy traditional restaurant and order a plate for 2 or 4 people of their mixes kebab selection.
Me for example, found on my mixed plate: lamb, beef, chicken (no pork… yet, who cares in stage, right?), roasted vegetables, couscous, fresh spiced white onion, fresh parsley for freshness.
And… between these mouthfuls, do sneak in a spoon of fresh yoghurt, to comfort your tongue from all the spicy meats.
Ok, ok… no more kebabs. Maybe you’d like some comfort food since you’re not at home.
That my dear, has underneath the shreds of beef some serious layers of fresh, white, stringy cheese, called “dil peyniri”.
When it melts it’s almost therapeutic I’d say. if you are tired, stressed or in mood for nothing, go for it.
And for us to finish this post “lightly” I invite you in the port, to a sandwich made with fresh fish.
And those boats you’re seeing… those are not the fishing boats.
Those are boats are just for preparing in front of you these sandwiches so that you can feel the smell, to feel the boat floating underneath your she’s while your meal is cooking.
Istanbul is a city to be felt with all your senses and with all your heart: because he will treat you the same way