SaturdayFiled under Features
Editor’s note: In the latest installment of our recurring feature, First Stop, we asked Charles King where he stops first for food when he heads to Istanbul. King is a professor of international affairs and government at Georgetown University and the author of Midnight at the Pera Palace: The Birth of Modern Istanbul and other books.
Istanbul is famously a city for strolling, but the steep hillsides of the Bosphorus and the twisting streets of the old city south of the Golden Horn can leave you either breathless or plain lost. Kuzguncuk, on the Asian side of the city, has the advantage of allowing you to explore a magnificent neighborhood via a short walk along a plane tree-shaded main street, with only minimal roaring cars and plenty of lazy street dogs to accompany you.
The ferry from the European side lets you off at Üsküdar, where a fleet of vans and buses make the three-minute journey by coast road to Kuzguncuk. (The neighborhood has its own ferry terminal, but it was out of commission the last time I was there.) Kuzguncuk is one of the few places in the city where you can get some sense of what a mahalle might have felt like in the days before rapid development, high-rises and expanding shopping malls. Most of the buildings are only a few stories tall, and the main street of the old village is lined with stately plane trees.
Read the rest of this feature at Culinary Backstreets.
All entries filed under Features
no responses - Posted 12.22.14
Editor’s note: To cap off our annual review of the year’s best eating experiences, we’ve unleashed our imaginations to create the Turkish food court of our dreams. After a period of protest, we finally broke down and visited the Zorlu Center, a new, high-profile shopping mall in Istanbul and a showcase ...continue
no responses - Posted 11.25.14
Zeynep Arca Şallıel had a successful career in advertising in Istanbul, but in 1995 she decided to take on a daunting new challenge: taking part in the revival of small-scale viniculture in the ancient winemaking region of Thrace. “I wanted to do something with soil, something that mattered a little bit ...continue
no responses - Posted 10.22.14
“This would be front-page news in France!” Jilber raved, darting off between tall chestnut trees and oaks, obscured by a hazy steam that seemed to hang in the forest like a gauzy Halloween decoration. He looked over each shoulder and all around him where it seemed he was surrounded by ...continue
1 response - Posted 09.30.14
“We grow everything here – kale, dill, peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, arugula, eggplant, lettuce, cauliflower... everything,” the elderly woman says proudly, waving her hand in the direction of her small field as she digs her worn plastic sandals into the dirt. While she grows the vegetables and herbs, her 80-year-old husband tends ...continue
no responses - Posted 09.04.14
Who says there’s no such thing as a free lunch? In fact, over at Gastronomika, a new Istanbul culinary project, the food is served not only free of charge but also with an intriguing – and ambitious – backstory. As Gastronomika’s founders describe it, the project is “an open-source, long-term, community ...continue
no responses - Posted 08.29.14
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 ...continue
no responses - Posted 07.09.14
Think of Ramadan, which began in late June in many parts of the world, as a kind of monthlong biathlon that consists of an all-day race to beat back the hunger and thirst of fasting, followed by an all-night marathon of eating and drinking in order to fortify the body ...continue
no responses - Posted 07.05.14
Editor’s note: In the latest installment of our recurring feature First Stop, we asked chef and food writer Anissa Helou where she heads first for food when she arrives in Istanbul. Helou is the author of many cookbooks, including Lebanese Cuisine, Mediterranean Street Food, Savory Baking from the Mediterranean and The Fifth Quarter and has also written for publications ...continue
no responses - Posted 06.19.14
Charming and surprising, Fehmi Özsüt has an easy, no-worries smile that belies a life full of unbelievable stories and intense work. Every day, even on weekends, he wakes up at 3 a.m. in order to run his kaymak business. A quivery clotted cream made from water buffalo milk, kaymak is served with honey ...continue
no responses - Posted 06.10.14
Tea is to Turkey what fizzy, watery beer is to Milwaukee – consumed in copious amounts, a desired chemical reaction takes place, but its real value lies not in the taste but in the ritual of swilling. Without noticing it, tea has snuck its way into daily life for us. ...continue