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Yogurt, the delicious fermentation

Yogurt is yogurt, for us. Not a big fuss, one of the essential ingredients of every household. We love yogurt, not a secret. On the lands of Anatolia, people know how to make yogurt instinctively, sensing how long milk should boil and measuring the temperature of milk, with tip of…

Spring Kebabs

In Gaziantep fruits are a big part of the cooking. Kebabs get their share as well, not to mention they change seasonally. Keme mantarı –desert truffles- announces the coming of spring, then yenidünya kebabı -loquat/medlar- follows, last for spring is sarımsak kebabı – the whole bulb of garlic-. Keme mantarı after being…

A survival guide to
gluten-free eating in Istanbul!

I know I know… Gluten-free eating in Turkey may sound challenging, I admit. If it is not the dishes themselves makes you take the challenge, it is the slaphappy, carefree, lovely waiters, the know it all restaurants and nothing can happen form this kind of attitude bearers. Yes, you need to…

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Asım Usta’s döner as the best
fast feast of Europe!

On the phone with Asım Usta -to me-: Where have you been?!! The nature of our conversations, meetings have always been the same, the same kindness, sincerity, friendship coming from years and years of me being their loyal customer, and supporter of one of the true artisans of Istanbul and…

Mantı as a second lunch in Urla

While we were at the Aegean coast, Sibel and Filiz planned a trip to Urla, Filiz being a local since she moved there so I left myself, my senses, my appetite in her hands, feeling lucky I have friends like them. We arrived Iskele, Urla at mid morning, after our fulfilling katmer…

Istanbul’s coffee shops: Mandabatmaz

Turkish coffee is more than a tiny cup of caffeine for any Turkish people. It is a social event, a time well spent,  an office gossip, a morning newspaper, a gathering, a moment of our lives that we found in a cup. We do not grab a turkish coffee and…

Katmer for breakfast
at Ünal Kardeşler, Urla

Just a usual morning for me, asking the waiter if I can visit the kitchen and chat with ustas…  For me, as I always say, watching the true masters, this experience is more important then the food itself, hence it is them, ustas, who make the food that treasured. Urla katmer…

Sorry, but no: Yengeç Restaurant – Urla

So proud to serve 102 kinds of meze, they forgot that the food should be fresh, for one thing. Fresh for another. The ingredient quality is one of the key factors in restaurant business. Adding soy sauce, tuzot- umami salts – cream, does not help the dish to become better,…

Istanbul’s Coffee Shops: Kronotrop

I am a coffee nerd. I can not live without coffee. But not any coffee, I only drink the best there is, after the perfect bite, this time perfect coffee as my motto. The problem is that not many coffee houses please me, hence I brew the best possible coffee…

Offal minds in Istanbul

Offal, you either love it or hate it. I love it. Every piece of it, sweetbreads, brain, liver, intestines, heart, testicles, tripe, trotter… When growing up I had the best of offal on my table; lamb brain salad with olive oil, lemon and parsley, pan grilled ram’s testicles, thick slices…

Pideban, Butter and Old Radios

They all ordered kıymalı pide and a big jug of ayran, 5 workers in uniforms… Fortunately we had arrived before them and ordered our share of pide. With each order you may hear Sami Usta pounding on the dough in the kitchen… One young waiter was cleaning the windows with newspaper,…

Where to eat the best döner kebab in Istanbul

Döner kebab -for the beginners- is a meat dish consists of deboned meat layered on a vertical spit, roasted rotating on its axis, then cut -shaved- thin slices with a special long knife aka döner bıçağı… Served as pide sandwich, wrapped in lavaş, in half loaf of bread or plated on…

Turkish Coffee enters UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List

He was excited, Özgür, he has been my partner in coffee crime for more than 15 years, ‘I have some great news for you, about Turkish coffee…’ He has been working at/with Turkish Coffee Culture and Research Association (TCCRA) from the day it was founded, witnessing Turkish coffee getting back its…