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Posts Tagged ‘ Sephardic cuisine ’

Dec 11
Friday

Mari: The Cosmopolitan

Filed under Reviews (Eats)

Mekan, photo by Monique Jaques
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 to make of this cuisine that draws influences from every corner of the former Ottoman lands, a territory stretching from the Balkans to North Africa? The answer might be in a simple term that’s becoming popular among Turkey’s minorities. The word Türkiyeli means “of Turkey” and differs significantly (and quite intentionally) from the word Türk, which often adds ethno-religious shades to nationality.

We find Türkiyeli to be an apt description of most things in this country, and certainly of the restaurant Mari, whose heritage is anything but simple: owned by Armenian and Jewish business partners, the venue is frequented by a diverse clientele that includes many Istanbul Armenians. Nevertheless, Mari wears its identity loosely and is not trying to be anything but a good restaurant with a kitchen turning out well-made, traditional favorites. Hold the culinary nationalism, and dig in.

Read the rest of the update review on Culinary Backstreets.

Culinary Backstreets
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All entries filed under this archive


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no responses - Posted 03.11.11
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The Boyoz Are Back in Town: A Sephardic Treat Returns to the Izmir Street
3 responses - Posted 03.07.11
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Mekan: The Cosmopolitan
8 responses - Posted 07.24.09
Sometimes billed as “that Armenian-Jewish restaurant in Beyoğlu,” Mekan harkens back to the neighborhood’s cosmopolitan past, when it was home to a large non-Muslim population. The food is sometimes Sephardic and Armenian, sometimes Turkish. But the important point here is the place’s authenticity. Mekan is not trying to be anything ...continue

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