Join our mailing list!
Email :  

Out of Istanbul - Category Archive

Nov 03

CB on the Road: Mersin’s Tantuni Trifecta

Filed under Out of Istanbul

Tantuni in Mersin, photo by Paul Osterlund

We boarded a train in Turkey’s kebab capital of Adana and headed an hour west to the calm, palm tree-lined coastal city of Mersin with one thing on our minds: tantuni. While available at a number of recommendable establishments in Istanbul and other Turkish cities, tantuni in Mersin exists on a different plane of existence, one buttressed by endless plates of salad, peppers and meze and its prized status as the city’s flagship food.

Tantuni is frequently billed as the Turkish equivalent of a taco, and while this comparison is not altogether unwarranted, we think it is primarily invoked by those with a particularly fierce longing for Mexican food. We believe tantuni should be evaluated on its own merits, which stand proud and tall. Sumptuous bits of beef steak are fried with a splash of cottonseed oil inside a vast, shallow metal pan known as a sac. The cooked meat is then dusted with spices, and dotted with chopped tomatoes, parsley and onion before being rolled up in a soft, fresh slice of lavaş flatbread. While we regularly enjoy it in Istanbul, we had to go to the source.

Read the rest of the feature at Culinary Backstreets.

All entries filed under Out of Istanbul

CB on the Road: Feasting in Antakya
no responses - Posted 09.26.17
Turkey’s charming southern city of Antakya lies equidistant to the Mediterranean coast and the Syrian border, in the province of Hatay. The area is famed for its unique, spice-laden cuisine, though it is perhaps overshadowed by that of its neighbors to the east and west: Adana and Gaziantep, respectively. The ...continue
Spring Gone Wild: Weeds and Edibles in Alaçati
no responses - Posted 04.27.16
They weren’t easy to spot at first: tiny green shoots with reddish roots, scarcely an inch high, poking out of the mud along the banks of a brackish stream near the Aegean town of Alaçatı. From these unpromising beginnings come a dish known to nearly every patron of a Turkish meyhane: ...continue
Walnut Days in Kırşehir
no responses - Posted 02.10.16
A fresh walnut is completely different from the type found in a package on a supermarket shelf. The nut is pale and soft, the flavor light and creamy, with not a trace of bitterness. It almost melts in your mouth. Rarely is it possible to eat just one. I can ...continue
Gabo, Diyarbakır’s Veg Rebel
no responses - Posted 01.03.16
My wife, Kurdish in-laws and I are enjoying an early meal at Gabo, one of Diyarbakır’s most successful new restaurants. It gets dark early this time of year in the city, and the dry air carries the ayaz chill, which engenders a need for a hearty soup and hot tea. ...continue
From Blog to Table in Alaçatı
1 response - Posted 12.07.15
On the western coast of Turkey, the town of Alaçatı sways to the light of a thousand glowing cafés. What was once a typically beautiful and sleepy Turkish fishing village has transformed into a hub for glitzy nightlife. People swarm the seaside walkways to see and be seen, arriving in ...continue
The Lambassador from the East
no responses - Posted 11.24.15
Şehzade Erzurum Cağ Kebabı is one of our favorite places in Istanbul for a satisfying, lamby meal. You could easily walk past its handful of outdoor tables, tucked into a bustling pedestrian-only shopping street in the Sirkeci neighborhood. But if you stay, proprietor and head grill master Özcan Yıldırım will make ...continue
The Island of Meze
no responses - Posted 10.28.15
Forty-five minutes south of Çannakale, a small but flourishing ferry port sits outside of the town of Geyikli. Nestled between olive groves and farms lies the main access point to the small island of Bozcaada. Until the late 1990s, Bozcaada was disputed territory between Turkey and Greece, isolating the island ...continue
Off the Beaten Path on Turkey’s Turquoise Coast
no responses - Posted 07.29.15
Along the southwestern coast of Turkey, the vibrant blue waters of the Mediterranean crash against dry, rocky mountains jutting from the water’s edge. For centuries, pilgrims and adventurers alike have scrabbled over the unforgiving terrain between Fethiye and Antalya known as the Lycian Way. Ruins dating back to Greek and Roman ...continue
Kokoreç at the Edirne Pazar
no responses - Posted 06.09.15
For the past 24 years, Cemil Tuncay has wheeled his small metal cart to the biweekly produce pazar in Edirne. He sets up shop around noon, lighting coals under what can be described as massive, torpedo-shaped sausages. Kokoreç is a simple fast food made from bits of sheep leftover from butchering, ...continue
Ask CB: Eating in Cappadocia?
no responses - Posted 04.13.15
Dear Culinary Backstreets, I'm planning to visit Cappadocia this summer, and while I have my sightseeing and walking itinerary all lined up, I would love to know where I can find the best places to eat in the region. Can you help? Cappadocia suffers from what I’d call Sultanahmet Syndrome, which means ...continue

© Copyright by Istanbul Eats 2009 - 2018 Istanbul Eats | Original theme by Zidalgo.