Misty, lush Fırtına Valley is worlds away from Istanbul’s concrete urban hustle. It’s a land of cascading waterfalls, rushing rivers, wild edibles and precipitous hillsides covered with glossy tea bushes. We came to escape Istanbul’s infamous August heat and learn about the region’s special foods. After a week, we had stomped our way through bagpipe-fueled celebratory circle dances and eaten our weight in fried trout and cornbread.
Thirty-five miles up Fırtına Valley from the Black Sea coast is the small town of Çamlıhemşin, where we met up with Özlem Erol, the proprietor of Moyy Mini Hotel and café. Her family is from the area, and after a decade working in Istanbul, she came back to her roots. Erol graciously shared her knowledge about the region’s specialties with us on Moyy’s riverfront balcony.
Read the rest of this feature at Culinary Backstreets .