ThursdayFiled under Features
Editor’s note: We eagerly await the coming of spring each year, not just for the nicer weather but also because some of our favorite foods and dishes are at their best – or indeed, are only available – for a short period during this season. Here we take a look at Istanbul’s top springtime eats.
This year’s Nevruz celebration, an ancient welcoming of spring, may be remembered for its political significance in which a peace deal was struck between Turkish leaders and Kurdish rebels. But once the shoulder-shrugging, line-dancing, fire-jumping and ululating are over, the real bounty of the season will continue to be celebrated all over Turkey and in many Istanbul restaurants, from the chic to the shabby.
“Sultani bezelye rule!” exclaimed Şemsa Denizsel, chef-owner of Kantin, when we recently stopped by for lunch at her Nişantaşı restaurant. Like a favorite uncle in town for the holidays, these sugar snap peas brightly decorated one corner of the plate that held our bahar salatası, a simple “spring salad” that featured all our favorites of the season, including chunks of artichoke hearts and vividly green fava beans.
The rest of this feature can be found on CulinaryBackstreets.com, here.
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no responses - Posted 03.12.13
Lahmacun is one of those mysterious foods where a lot is created with so little. It checks all of the boxes of a perfect savory snack: crispy, oven-fired crust, light and spicy meat spread, a fresh green garnish and a tangy spray from a lemon. It’s like an artisanal pizza ...continue
no responses - Posted 01.07.13
Dear Istanbul Eats, I’ll have an eight-hour layover in Istanbul and was wondering if you have any suggestions for places to go for a good Turkish breakfast and lunch. I love to eat at small, local places serving authentic food. I would prefer restaurants in the Yeşilköy area, as I have ...continue
no responses - Posted 12.28.12
After four years of publishing weekly dispatches from Istanbul’s culinary backstreets, we are still regularly surprised by new discoveries, impressed by the staying power of old standards and shocked by how quickly so much can change. For better or for worse, it is that dynamism that Istanbulites line up for, ...continue
no responses - Posted 12.03.12
It is hard to identify exactly when the forgotten neck of Istanbul between Etiler and Arnavutköy became prime real estate. Not so long ago, overgrown green space alongside the road was interrupted by the occasional car wash and low-slung shanty; it was not so much a place as a road ...continue
no responses - Posted 10.03.12
Thwap. Thwap. Thwap. “Do you hear that?” asked Sean Roberts, an expert on Uighur culture and politics and our dining companion for the day. “They’re making the lagman.” As if inspired by the image of a pizza-maker spinning dough on his finger like a basketball and tossing it in the air, lagman-makers have a ...continue
no responses - Posted 09.24.12
A visit to Bursa İskender Kebabı®feels as if you’ve stepped right into the war room of the İskenderoğlu family’s never-ending quest to establish ownership over the İskender kebab, a plate of dönerlaying on a bed of cut flatbread doused with tomato sauce and butter and served with a scoop of cool ...continue
no responses - Posted 09.21.12
We like to think of Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar – open since 1461 – as the world’s oldest shopping mall. If that’s the case, shouldn’t the Grand Bazaar be home to the world’s oldest food court? That may be taking the analogy too far, but for us, the Grand Bazaar can ...continue
9 responses - Posted 06.15.12
At 6 p.m. on a Monday evening, the dining room of Adana Ocakbaşı was nearly full and the wide grill in the corner was covered with skewers loaded with meat. While most restaurants, worldwide, were closed or waiting for a slow night to start, this neighborhood kebab house was busting ...continue
3 responses - Posted 03.26.12
We’ve committed a lot of space on this blog to identifying the taste, smell and sight of a seriously good kebab, but it was not until we sat in Şeyhmus Kebap Evi (on a tip from chef Gencay over at Meze) that we came to know what delicious kebab actually ...continue
2 responses - Posted 11.14.11
On a narrow alley just beyond the back gate of the Hırdavatçılar Çarşısı in Karaköy, we distinctly heard the bleat of a sheep. Turning the corner, we saw men wearing coveralls and vests with “Makita” stitched over the breast seated at low tables laughing through mouthfuls of flatbread. “Me-e-e-e-eh,” one ...continue