Istanbul’s eaters are spoiled by opportunities to eat great beans – and in the Turkish kitchen that means white beans, in particular, and if you’re lucky, the şeker fasulye type grown in Eastern Turkey’s İspir region. We’ve tried countless subtle variations on roughly the same recipe and, wiping mouth on sleeve after a bowl, declared that we could eat beans every single day of the week. We’ve spent a lot of time comparing almost identical-tasting Black Sea-style beans and hunted down those that are harder to categorize. Taking part in the bean discourse is a great pleasure of ours and we are not alone in doing so. Turkish newspapers regularly run features analyzing the baked bean, featuring inserts ranking the best beans, nationally, by a panel of judges. It’s a gas.
In this roundup we’ve compiled our favorite beans in different styles. Though the gold standard achieved by standouts Hüsrev and Fasuli is widely agreed to be the best in show, we’ve included a couple of quirky beaneries in our list of favorites, because, in reality, you can’t eat the same beans every day.
Find out what beaneries are our favorites at Culinary Backstreets .