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Posts Tagged ‘ hamsi ’

Mar 01

Chasing Hamsi in Sinop

Filed under Reviews (Eats)

Sinop's harbor, photo by Theodore Charles

“No hamsi, no money.” Mert Kanal hoses down empty Styrofoam containers and surveys the leftover catch in his market in Sinop, on Turkey’s Black Sea coast. The gulls squawk, fighting over scraps on the dock while fishermen tidy their nets for another night of fishing. The hamsi, or anchovies, are gone for the season, moving up the coast in dwindling numbers as hulking factory ships chase them.

While mackerel, turbot and whiting are all fair game for fishmongers, hamsi holds a special place in Turkish cuisine. Unlike the slimy, salty canned form of the fish reserved for eccentric pizza toppings in North America, anchovies are eaten fresh in Turkey. Lightly battered, quickly fried and served with a slice of lemon, hamsi are gobbled down by the kilo, bones and all.

Fishing still thrives in Sinop, as in ancient times – for countless generations, fisherman here have pointed their personal boats out to sea in search of hamsi. But sadly, that may not be true for much longer. The crumbling old city walls no longer guard an important trade hub along the Black Sea but seemingly serve to contain apartments and vacation rentals from falling into the sea. Most of the traders at the market now only come on Mondays and Thursdays, hauling both produce and clothing. In Sinop’s harbor, dozens of small wooden boats are moored next to giant industrial behemoths painted the colors of their fleet.

“We never used to eat hamsi before the snow, but now it’s different,” said Kanal, a third-generation fishmonger and the owner of the Okyanus Balık Evi (“Ocean Fish House”) restaurant on Sinop’s waterfront.

Read the rest of this feature at Culinary Backstreets.

All entries filed under this archive

Çukur Meyhane: When Liver Met Hamsi
no responses - Posted 05.29.14
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2 responses - Posted 11.18.13
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Çukur Meyhane: When Liver Met Hamsi
no responses - Posted 03.18.13
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1 response - Posted 01.14.13
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no responses - Posted 12.28.12
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no responses - Posted 11.26.12
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no responses - Posted 11.12.12
The arrival of fall in Istanbul usually means one thing for us: hamsi season is about to begin. Hamsi, of course, are the minuscule fish (Black Sea anchovies) that Istanbulites are mad about, and the coming of fall and the cooling of the waters of the Black Sea mark the beginning ...continue
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1 response - Posted 10.22.12
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Hamsi for Hipsters!
no responses - Posted 04.18.12
Turns out New Yorkers are only now discovering what Turks have known for eons: that the humble anchovy is absolutely delicious (particularly when lightly coated in flour or cornmeal and fried). As an article in today's New York Times explains, anchovies -- known as "hamsi" in Turkish -- are being ...continue
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4 responses - Posted 10.31.11
The arrival of fall in Istanbul for us usually means just one thing: hamsi season is about to begin. Hamsi, of course, are the minuscule fish (Black Sea anchovies) that Istanbulites are mad for, and the coming of fall and the further cooling of the Black Sea’s waters mark the ...continue

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