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Apr 19
The “Mesopotamian Truffle” Returns!

Spring is upon us, which means that it’s time to go hunting for restaurants that serve keme, an elusive fungus with a beguiling taste that we’ve dubbed the “Mesopotamian Truffle.”

Impossible to cultivate and with a season that spans only a few weeks, this specialty of southeast Turkey is worth seeking out, with a taste that’s like an earthy cross between a Portobello mushroom and a very delicate potato. Last year, we got our keme fix at Kadikoy’s excellent Çiya Sofrası, where it is grilled on a skewer and served like a kebab (as well as incorporated into several other dishes).

In this morning’s edition of the English-language Today’s Zaman, though, we learned about another place in Istanbul that also serves keme, Kübban Gaziantep Mutfağı. We’re not familiar with this place, but the article (you can find it here) makes it sound very promising. The good news? The article — at least in the print edition — gives an address. The bad news? It’s all the way out in Güneşli, a neighborhood on the western outskirts of Istanbul.

For those interested in heading out there, here’s the address:
Bağlar Mahallesi, Koçman Cad. Gamsiz Sok. No: 2/B (across from the Güneşli Metro market), Güneşli
Telephone: (212) 651-8161

(photo by Yigal Schleifer)

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5 Responses to “ The “Mesopotamian Truffle” Returns! ”
  1. Vladimir Shetzblatzkovsky

    Apr 19, 2010

    Dear editors,

    Your article has made me curiosity. Why don’t you post a photo of the Mesopotamian Truffle…so that readers can see what delicatessen looks like.

    You’re loyal reader,


  2. We’re working on it, Vova. Stay tuned.

  3. tried keme once at Develi in Samatya. I think it is very bland. For pictures:

  4. Sahan over in Atasehir serves keme kebabi too. Personally, I find it a bit bland – tastes like a potato mushroom. As far as seasonal kebabs go, yeni dunya or cagla kebabi are a lot better.

  5. You can also find keme kebabı in Hamdi Restaurant in Eminönü but if you are to pay one visit alone I would suggest you wait a little more and try the green plum kebab when the fruit hits the market. The place is a bit on the pricy side though.

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