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Jun 10
Reviews (Eats)
Istanbul Köfte Week: #1 – Meşhur Köfteci Recep Usta

(Editor’s note: Over here at Istanbul Eats, we like to think of ourselves as
köfte savants. While to the untrained eye köfte may look like nothing more than a grilled meatball, we like to discern differences in taste, texture and consistency in the different styles of this ubiquitous Turkish dish. As with coffee, tea and wine, we would argue that the concept of terroir be applied to köfte and its different regional interpretations. With that in mind, we invite you to join us this week for an exploration of the many faces of köfte, with a look at five favorite spots in Istanbul.)

Köfte comes in many forms, each with its own title: lastik köfte, İnegöl köfte, ev köfte and, like the ones at Recep Usta, tükrük köfte. The term tükrük, meaning saliva, comes from a slightly stomach-churning popular urban legend that the street cart köfte vendors outside of Beşiktaş Stadium spit on their hands before shaping their meatballs. All the same, köfte that resembles those street meatballs in size and shape – spit or no spit – is categorized as tükrük köfte, as is the fantastic köfte at Recep Usta… (Click here for the full review.)

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