27 May 2010

start with pastries, end with kokoreç

istanbul66 you’ve got your favorite bakery. you walk past it each morning on the way to the city center, and each evening on your way back.

istanbul67gray. for how washed out the early sun makes everything seem. you revisit the (outside of the) blue mosque – but this time, it’s early in the morning before the floods of tourists. and it has a completely different atmosphere. then you wander around, because not everything is open.

istanbul68gray again. for the pilfered marble in the hagia sophia

istanbul69gold and blue. for those tiles. for the immensity of the place. and especially for how light is so perfectly used.

istanbul70dark colors. that are contrasted against the bright bright rays of sun that burst through the windows.

istanbul71steely colors. because you can’t avoid construction. it will always, always, always be part of the landscape – unless it’s on a postcard.

istanbul72orange. for the glow of the lights as you walk through the passageway to the second floor

istanbul73yellow! red! pink! for when you exit and are reunited with fresh air. you stare at the building in the upper left corner and wonder what kind of person gets to live right next to the hagia sophia!? and it blows your mind that people can live next to extremely important historical buildings.

istanbul74mysterious reds. for the cisterns. and medusa’s heads – which you’ll have to go to turkey yourself if you wish to see them!

istanbul75lavender blues. you end up again at ortakoy. next to the sea. sunny. hungry. which leads to your favorite combination: eating + sun + outdoors. can’t be beat.

istanbul76green. because green has a magical ability to add life to any dish. a gorgeous color that changes everything.

istanbul77periwinkle blue. for the shade that gives you gorgeous lighting for your meze (appetizers). unfortunately, you can’t read the handwriting of the waiter to google what they are… so they will remain nameless for now.


a salad. a dessert. but what really stood out and changed the way you ate was the tartine. your favorite. whether its nutella + sprinkles, tartines just make you incredibly happy.

so in this turkish tartine, from bottom up: the bread from alaçati köy (alaçati village), keçi peyniri (goat cheese), kuru erikli (dried plums), and puşe yumurta (poached egg)

and this is why you take notes. because a few days ago, you recreated this tartine by memory. without your notebook. with four months since that happy moment in turkey. and it was delicious – but it was so wrong. you used apricots instead of plums. you used a cheese that was more spreadable and less fluffly. you added crushed pistachios. you added texas honey. you forgot the egg. it tasted perfect. but you would like to recreate it the correct way, so you add plums and fresh goat cheese to your shopping cart.

istanbul78purple and brown. for late night street lights. and late night chocolate stands!

istanbul79brown. for the gooey chocolate sauce on these profiteroles. and here a question comes up. the host claims that it was here, in istanbul, where the profiterole was invented. that is a big thing to claim, especially with a french travel buddy! you try to verify the story but it doesn’t go anywhere.

instead you just focus on the taste. – these are no ordinary profiteroles! less sweet. and of course, the way you eat them. you walk in, grab a plate, and eat the whole thing in five minutes. then depending on how many dirty plates you have, you pay for that many. and unless you keep eating, you are out of the restaurant because someone else with tired legs and a hungry-for-profiterole appetite wants your spot to eat. it’s not necessarily rude that you have to rush, but with a city of twelve million people, seating space is valuable stuff!

istanbul80you end the late night with kokoreç, which are lamb intestines (top left). but you eat it. after all, how often will you find yourself in istanbul?


Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

You really make me want to visit that magical town of Istanbul! Your pictures are so amazing!



cathy said...

@rosa: you should! take advantage of living in europe and being close to istanbul :) and if you have time, try to go outside of istanbul as i hear it is completely different

Anonymous said...

Hello, your pictures are jus amazing, your blog has such lovely stories! I'm curious to know how does one add a color palette to their photos? Thanks and great work!!! Caro x

Anonymous said...

Those meze names you're looking for (just in case you still haven't found them, and still wanna know) humus (hummus, served hot, probably had pastirma in it, a kind of Turkish deli meat), patlican ezme (eggplant puree), cig kofte (raw meatballs) or might be bulgur kofte (bulghur meatballs) both made with salca (tomato paste but the kind that Turkish people make). I can't make out the one on bottom left, but I'm guessing it's eggplant with yogurt, or potatoes? It's definitely a vegetable covered with yogurt though.