Saturday, November 26, 2011

Turkey - 2

Hi, For our second day in Istanbul Ruthe booked what I consider a very unique tour; Istanbul Eats.  We met for our walk outside the Spice Market in the Old Town and our group of six set off to sample typical Turkish fare.  A large flock of pigeons congregates here and vendors sell food you can give the birds.

In addition to spices, sold mainly inside, there are a variety of food shops outside.

Our first stop was at an Olive shop where we sampled the merchandise.  Then our guide bought some olives.

Next we stopped at a cheese shop where our guide Angelis explained the various types being sold.  He then bought some cheese.

Fresh fish also was for sale.

At the start of our walk Angelis had purchased Simit, shown on the left in the photo below.  These cost 1 Turkish Lira, about 85 cents.  We also stopped to buy some beef sausage.  Then we went to a storage area in the back of the Spice Market where we sat around an old desk covered with newspaper and breakfasted on the olives, cheeses, Simit, and beef sausage Angelis had purchased.  We had our choice of Turkish Coffee, which was gritty and had the consistency of loose pudding, or tea.

Our next stop was a shop specializing in Baklava.  Angelis went behind the counter and picked various pieces of the pastry for us to sample while explaining how the pastry was made and what went into each type.

Around the corner was a little hole in the wall with something on spits rotating horizontally over a fire.  The something turned out to be sweetbreads bundled in lamb's intestines.  While it sounds gross, when chopped up and served in a baguette it really is quite good.

After a short walk we came to a restaurant that had been a soup kitchen where we were served a bowl of lentil soup and more bread.

As we walked we encountered the natives of the Old Town.

We also saw the various shops.  Generally, all the shops of a given type are clustered together.  This one sells pots and pans.

I think these are kitchen utensils.

More food awaited us at a Pita shop.  This is the Turkish equivalent of Pizza.  After the dough is rolled out and tossed around it is filled with cheese and some or all of beef sausage, and various vegetables.

Once the fillings are in place the edges are bent over, and

the Pitas are place in a wood fired brick oven.

The result, shown, here was delicious.

Another group of shops sold scales.

More sweets were next on the agenda.  This candy shop specialized in Turkish Delight.  It also sold a wide variety of other candies, which we sampled.

Turkey's republic was established on October 29, 1923 so the 29th is a major holiday. In anticipation of the holiday we saw many vendors selling Turkish flags.

Turks must really love cats as we saw them everywhere we went.

Our next stop was a former caravansary where we were served hallava and tea.

A Turkish magazine ran a story about Angelis and the tour.  One of the photos in the story was taken at the caravansary so I asked Angelis to pose with the article in the spot where the photo was taken.

More food!  This time its lamb with alternating layers of tomatoes, onions and bell peppers.  It's shaved off the spindle and

served on a crisp roll.  We each had 1/2 a sandwich along with fresh squeezed Pomegranate juice.  You can have some orange juice squeezed in to sweeten the drink a little bit.  I should have done that.

Our next to last stop was a shop selling a fermented millet drink.  It is more like tapioca pudding.  Roasted chick peas are added to the beverage.  It doesn't sound like it, but the drink really is quite good and the gentleman providing the service puts on quite a show.

The decor is elegant too.

Our final stop was a Kurdish restaurant for a full lunch.  When desert came I could manage one fork full and I was done.  After lunch Angelis gave us ride in his Taxi to Taksim Square near our hotel.  From there we took the historic tram and then walked to the Galata Tower.  These were hanging outside an adjacent building.

Finally, here are 2 views of the Bosphorus from atop the tower.

Yes, that's smog, a real problem in many Turkish cities.

I hope you enjoyed the photos.

1 comment:

Jim Kleeman said...

Looks like you enjoyed your eating tour of Istanbul.