Turkey walks the line: her western borders dip into Europe, while the rest lounges in Asia. Indeed, Istanbul – is the only large city in the world to span two continents. Pretty awesome.
Her extensive mountains cradle many small villages and cities, but it is her coastal plains and valleys that produce the most luscious produce. There’s everything from citrus to corn, and olives to barley.
The food will fill your spirit as well as your mouth. A few years ago I watched a show about Turkey and in it, I saw someone eat what looked to be a pizza. But they rolled it up like a burrito. They call it Lahmacun [Recipe]. Epic.
The list of popular dishes is like a who’s who of my favorite dishes: all manner of meaty, spiced kebabs, glorious stuffed grape leaves, tabbouleh (called kisir) [Recipe], lovely pide bread, sweet, nutty baklava. Much of this can be enjoyed as part of meze, or a meal of many small plates (similar in theory to Spanish Tapas).
Just about everything can and should be served with good quality yogurt, honey, or nuts (think walnuts, pine nuts, and almonds).
Of course, we can’t forget about Turkish delight, which was first brought to my attention in the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe when the evil queen offered it to Edmund to buy his sympathies. As I read, I thought it was a savory treat, but soon discovered that Turkish delight is a lovely confection covered in powdered sugar and often seasoned with rose water and orange blossom water. I had the joy of making it way back on the blog, when I cooked Albania).
So the question is, would you rather be eating Turkish Delight in the “Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe,” a magical place where a closet can lead to another world, or in Turkey proper, where beauty seems to grow from the very earth?