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Jan 18
Friday
Features
Istanbul’s Top Five Beaneries

Kuru fasulye, photo by Yigal Schleifer
Until we visited some of Istanbul’s shrines to the baked bean, we generally regarded the dish as something eaten out of a can beside railroad tracks. But Turkey takes this humble food, known as kuru fasulye, seriously; that means chefs in tall toques carefully ladling out golden beans in a rich red gravy onto monogrammed flatware, served by waiters wearing bowties and vests. Even in the least formal of Istanbul’s beaneries, the guy manning the pot has the air of a high priest who knows that his incantations alone conjure something unusually delicious out of a simple dry white legume. This is no hobo fare.

There are two general schools of bean cooking in Turkey: Black Sea and Anatolian. Beans Black Sea-style sit in a red gravy so thick with butter and laden with chunks of meat that we eat it with a fork and a hearty piece of bread. Anatolian beans, often known as Erzincan beans, are soupier and cooked in a tomato-based sauce without butter and meat. Either way, you can’t go wrong.

To see our top five bean joints in town, read the rest of this post on CulinaryBackstreets.com, here.

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