Join our mailing list!
Email :  


Features - Category Archive

Apr 06
Monday

Organ Harvest in Turkey’s Liver Capital

Filed under Features, Out of Istanbul

Liver and its accompaniments at Edirne Akgünler Ciğercisi, photo by Theodore Charles

The city of Edirne sits on the borders of Bulgaria and Greece in the far northwestern and European portion of Turkey. Once the capital of the Ottoman Empire, Edirne has been occupied for thousands of years, dating back to the Romans and Thracians before them. While no longer the seat of an empire, Edirne could still be considered a culinary capital for tava ciğer, or fried liver. Two things are constant companions to travelers venturing into Edirne: glistening portraits of famous oiled-up wrestlers (a big annual contest is held nearby) and innumerable small restaurant fronts featuring a vat of boiling sunflower oil. The aroma of meat cooking in these vats is distinctive and primal, instantly activating salivary glands or rumbling stomachs.

It’s 9AM. Morning light glints off of the swelling banks of the Meriç and Tunca rivers, reflecting off simitçi carts luring in their daily customers. We are enjoying our second cup of tea with Ilhan Usta, one of the proprietors of Meşhur Edirne Ciğercisi, while waiting for the liver man to arrive from Bursa. The screech of brakes and a clattering on cobblestones herald the arrival of a sleepy-eyed, but jovial man in a royal-blue sweatshirt and plain white van. Swinging on hooks in the back are gaggles of juicy red livers from young bulls.

Read the rest of this feature at Culinary Backstreets.

Share on Facebook
Post to Google Buzz
Bookmark this on Google Bookmarks
Bookmark this on Yahoo Bookmark
Bookmark this on Digg
Bookmark this on Delicious
Share on FriendFeed

All entries filed under Features


CB on the Road: The Young and Funky in Turkey’s Edremit
no responses - Posted 02.17.15
Turkey has a rich dairying tradition, beginning thousands of years ago with nomadic tribes herding goats through the Anatolian steppes. Although Turkey is full of good cheeses that breakfast staples, these cheeses do not have the range of flavors and textures that, say, the French have with their cheese cornucopia. Three ...continue
Lakerda: Istanbul’s Salty, Fishy Soul
no responses - Posted 02.10.15
The fatty torik – the Turkish name for a large, mature Atlantic bonito, similar to the little tunny – courses the straits of the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles for just a short period each year in November and December. Yet the people of Istanbul eat it year-round by preserving the ...continue
First Stop: Charles King’s Istanbul
no responses - Posted 01.10.15
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 ...continue
Best Bites of 2014
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
A Revived Grape Harvest in Thrace
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
Hail Caesar: Mushroom Hunting in Istanbul’s Forests
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
Farming on the Edge: Istanbul’s Threatened Urban Agriculture
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
Gastronomika: The High-Concept Free Lunch
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
CB on the Road: Fırtına Valley, a Garden of Eden on the Black Sea
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
The Break Fast of Champions
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

© Copyright by Istanbul Eats 2009 - 2015 Istanbul Eats | Original theme by Zidalgo.