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Posts Tagged ‘ meze ’

May 08
Tuesday

Hanging On to History: Edible Nostalgia in Samatya

Filed under Features

That much of the past seems to stick to Samatya is a marvel in Istanbul, a city being rebuilt and “restored” at an alarming pace.

First, there’s the question of its name. Occupying a stretch of the Marmara Sea and squeezed between the old city walls and Kumkapı, an area home to a rotating cast of eclectic restaurants, the neighborhood still goes by its Greek name (Ψαμάθια or psamathia, likely derived from the Greek word psamathos, meaning sand) even though it was rechristened as Kocamustafapaşa after the foundation of the Turkish Republic.

Perhaps more importantly, it’s imbued with a certain type of nostalgia. For many Turks, the neighborhood is best known as the backdrop of İkinci Bahar, a dizi (television series) centered on the lives of a kebab restaurant owner and his female meze cook that aired in the late 1990s and early 2000s. But going back even further, many associate the area with Istanbul’s Armenian population: Armenians were settled in Samatya and neighboring Kumkapı as part of Fatih Sultan Mehmed’s efforts to repopulate the city after his conquest in 1453. Both districts still boast a number of Armenian churches, although it is believed that only around 60,000 Armenians reside in Istanbul today.

Read the rest of this feature on Culinary Backstreets.

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All entries filed under this archive


Mari: The Cosmopolitan
5 responses - Posted 12.11.15
In the great multicultural Anatolian kitchen, questions about the ethnic or national origins of foods are often cause for forks and knives to fly. A porridge called keşkek is a hot-button diplomatic issue between Turkey and Armenia, and we won’t even get started on the ongoing baklava debate. So what ...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
Fıstık Ahmet’in Yeri: The Perfect (Meyhane) Getaway
no responses - Posted 11.30.15
Büyükada has long been a popular destination for İstanbullus seeking a break from harried metropolitan life. With its array of quaint köşkler (Ottoman-era wooden mansions), walkable woods and relative quiet (automobiles are prohibited, so there’s none of the modern world’s ubiquitous, underlying machine hum), this five-square-kilometer island, about an hour’s ferry ...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
İnciraltı: Meyhane Time Machine
no responses - Posted 10.02.15
We like to think of İnciraltı, a laid-back meyhane in the sleepy Bosphorus-side Beylerbeyi neighborhood, as a destination restaurant – not so much because of the food, but because of the destination itself. Not that there’s anything wrong with the food here, which is reliably well made. The meze tray at ...continue
Sıdıka: Last Night a Meze Saved Our Lives
no responses - Posted 09.23.15
It has been years now since we were first tipped to Sıdıka. The W Hotel had just opened in the splashy Akaretler rowhouse development. Vogue, the rooftop sushi lounge, was still in style. The Shangri-La hotel was under construction down on the waterfront, and it was rumored that some rooms would ...continue
Akdeniz Hatay Sofrası
no responses - Posted 06.05.15
The only positive thing about the torturous annual visit we make to Istanbul’s main police station in order to renew our residence permit is the chance to drive through the low-rent Aksaray neighborhood.It's home to dozens of intriguing off-the-beaten-path restaurants, most of them opened by migrants from other parts of ...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
CB on the Road: Island Hopping Fit for a Prince
no responses - Posted 08.06.14
One of our favorite spots to make a quick summer getaway from Istanbul is the idyllic car-free and forested paradise of the Princes’ Islands, located just a short ferry ride away from the city. Here’s where you should eat when you get there. Club Mavi While most visitors end up getting lured ...continue
Çukur Meyhane: When Liver Met Hamsi
no responses - Posted 05.29.14
The departure of Aret, our favorite garson in the city, had us reconsidering our love of this little cubbyhole meyhane where we've spent so many nights over the years. With our loyalty to Aret and his to us, would it not be cheating to return to Çukur when Aret now runs his own place just a ...continue

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