SaturdayFiled under Features
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 York Times, Forbes and Newsweek.
Funny enough, I don’t really crave Turkish food if I have been spending time out of the country. This is because, for starters, I am a foodie: I crave things. I schlep to the other side of town for a meal. I never hesitate to spend money on good restaurants.
But I guess deep at heart I lack loyalty to Turkish cuisine. Out of sight, out of mind. I never particularly miss food when I travel.
That, of course, is not to say that I don’t have favorite spots across town. One of these is Karaköy Lokantası, where I find myself enjoying the mezes and a dinner with friends several times a month. The food is always fresh, not pricey, and exciting enough.
Read the rest of this feature at Culinary Backstreets.
All entries filed under Features
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
1 response - Posted 10.11.13
Situated on a geographically blessed spot where the waters of the Black Sea and the Sea of Marmara meet, Istanbul has long been associated with fishing and, especially, the eating of fish. In culinary terms, after all, is there anything more iconic in Istanbul than eating a freshly grilled fish ...continue
no responses - Posted 08.20.13
More so than any other district in Istanbul, Perşembe Pazarı – the city’s hardware zone – brings together what we love most about this city: thriving street life, hard-to-grasp commercial enterprises, remnants of history and, of course, excellent hidden spots to eat. A chickpea and pilaf cart is pushed past ...continue
1 response - Posted 08.05.13
Foreigners living in Istanbul often say they love the place for its history, while some say it’s the people who make it special. We find life here mystifying for the unpredictable dialogue between the two, the way 15 million or so people reconcile their daily lives with this city’s rich ...continue
no responses - Posted 06.14.13
Editor’s note: While the fate of the Gezi Park occupation is being hotly discussed, we’ve been spending our time sipping deeper into Turkey’s other great debate: what is the country’s national drink? In the spirit of national reconciliation, below is our report. The recent protests that raged across Turkey may have ...continue
no responses - Posted 05.24.13
As rapidly as Istanbul marches toward its modern destiny, street food in this city is still served the old-fashioned way, by boisterous ustas with a good pitch and, sometimes, a really good product. When the bars close, hungry Istanbulites cruise the streets looking for the gas lamp of a rice ...continue