WednesdayFiled under Features
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 for the next day’s fast.
In recent years in Turkey, iftar, the traditional break fast meal that used to mostly consist of some dates and a freshly baked round of Ramadan pide, has started to become an increasingly trendy affair, with ministers, businessmen and regular people trying to make an impression by hosting ever more lavish meals.
Still, even if you’re not fasting, a traditional iftar meal at the right place remains a unique and tasty window onto life during the Ramadan period.
Find our list of favorite iftar places at Culinary Backstreets.
All entries filed under Features
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
no responses - Posted 05.09.14
Spring arrives at the markets in Istanbul with a great deal of color and fanfare. Vendors arrange peas in perfect diagonal rows, displaying their goods to lure you into a multi-kilo purchase. Men furiously carve out artichoke hearts and toss them into lemon-water-filled bags, step around massive piles of trimmings ...continue
no responses - Posted 04.19.14
Editor’s note: We asked Aslı Aydıntaşbaş, a columnist for Turkish daily Milliyet, where she heads first for food when she returns to Istanbul after a trip abroad. Aydıntaşbaş is also a commentator on CNNTürk’s show “Karşı Gündem” and has written for numerous publications, including the former International Herald Tribune, The Wall Street Journal, The New ...continue
no responses - Posted 03.29.14
Editor’s note: In the inaugural post of our new recurring feature, First Stop, we ask Chef Ana Sortun of the much-beloved restaurant Oleana and bakery Sofra in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she heads first for food when she arrives in Istanbul. Sortun received the James Beard Foundation’s award for “Best Chef Northeast” in ...continue
no responses - Posted 02.24.14
By the name of the place, you’d expect the Sütçüler (“Milkmen” in English) district near Isparta in southern Turkey to be a dairyland paradise, thick on the ground with men carrying buckets sloshing fresh milk, cheese wheels stacked in cool dark sheds, verdant hills freckled with cows. But there are ...continue
1 response - Posted 12.23.13
Breakfast in Erzincan We were strangers in a strange land – eastern Turkey’s Erzincan, to be exact – and Yalçın Kaya welcomed us into his cheese shop with such gracious fervor that it didn’t surprise us to find out that this Anatolian cheesemonger moonlights as an imam. "Have you had breakfast?" the ...continue
2 responses - Posted 12.13.13
Like many other Central Anatolian cities, Erzincan is one of those places with very little there there. The natural setting – on a high plateau and ringed by craggy peaks – is promising, but the town itself feels like it’s been scrubbed clean of all traces of history or local ...continue
no responses - Posted 11.04.13
As a chill sets in and heavy clouds roll over Istanbul, turning the Bosphorus battleship gray, we say goodbye to the luscious strawberries and blood-red tomatoes in the market. Fall marks the start of hamsi season, a time when small anchovies fill the nets of fishing boats on the Black ...continue