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Jun 09
Features, Reviews (Eats)
Istanbul Köfte Week: #2 – AKO Adapazarı Islama Köfte

(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.)

Students of Istanbul street food will recognize the ıslama modifier on this köfte and understand its relation with the oh-so-edible “ıslak” hamburger in Taksim Square. It is a fellowship of drenched bread. But while the wet burger is drenched in secret sauce and sent to steam in the burger hammam, ıslama köfte’s wide slices of village bread are dunked in kemik suyu, or homemade beef stock, and grilled alongside the meatballs.

We asked Osman Usta, who has worked the grill at AKO Adapazarı Islama Köfte for 39 years, what the secret is. He replied, “No secrets. You just dunk [the bread] and grill it.”

The “and grill it” part of Osman’s instructions, we think, is the key to this dish… (Click here to see the full review.)

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