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eG Foodblog: sazji - Istanbul Glutfests


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Wednesday morning - one of the things I'm most grateful to have in my neighborhood is the Mardin bakery. It makes the favorite breads of the southeast including pide (the Turkish equivalent to pita but much larger and with no pocket), lavaş (lavash), and yağlı ekmek, or "oily bread." I swore I would wait till I could pull my belt in a notch before I had this again...well, okay I can't do it completely comfortably, I'm headed in the right direction. (A month in the US with a list of "have to eat" favorites can be dangerous...)

In some parts of the east, rolled out breads like pide are called açık ekmek ("open bread") while bread in loaves is kapalı ("closed") ekmek.I

Here the baker has just restoked the wood-fired oven and is making lavaş. The bread is formed by a man esconced in the little cubbyhole at right until it's about the size of a large dinner plate. It rests for a moment, then the baker takes it and stretches it out thin on the backs of his hands, lays it on the wooden paddle and slides it directly onto the floor of the oven.

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The finished product is brushed quickly to remove any ash that might remain and stacked for immediate sale. They sell to the public but also to those kebap restaurants that don't make their own.

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Yağlı ekmek is a favorite for breakfast. It uses the same dough as lavaş, but it is first brushed with oil/butter, folded, brushed and folded again, then scored before baking.

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The interior is very tender, almost like ultra-thin noodles, wonderful with good jam and tea.

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Ever since Behemoth mentioned helva with halloumi cheese, I had been thinking of it, so I stopped by and got a bit of both to try with the lavash!

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Perhaps if I'd melted the helva first it would have been better (I just remembered that part...). This way it didn't do much for me; the helva and halloumi flavors seemed to exist in a sort of culinary apartheid - side-by-side but distinctly seperate. I'd get a bit of one and a bit of the other. I'll try melting the helva a little later, now I'm kind of oiled out....

"Los Angeles is the only city in the world where there are two separate lines at holy communion. One line is for the regular body of Christ. One line is for the fat-free body of Christ. Our Lady of Malibu Beach serves a great free-range body of Christ over angel-hair pasta."

-Lea de Laria

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Oh god, I want some of that Yağlı ekmek for breakfast.

Well, I think EZ-Jet (sp.?) has a flight from London to Istanbul for around 43 Euros! :smile:

"Los Angeles is the only city in the world where there are two separate lines at holy communion. One line is for the regular body of Christ. One line is for the fat-free body of Christ. Our Lady of Malibu Beach serves a great free-range body of Christ over angel-hair pasta."

-Lea de Laria

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Turkey is my 2nd must-go place (the first being Morocco) in 2007! I nearly went in March earlier this year but couldn't leave the country as my Dutch visa wasn't approved yet (you can't leave during the application process).

There a Turkish bakery close to where I live and I desperately want to try the baklavas and sweets but they come in hunks/groups of 8 euros so I'll have to wait til I'm out of the poorhouse before I can take a bite!

Thanks for the wonderful blog:)

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When I lived in Schwabish Hall, Germany my home-away-from-home was a wonderful Turkish Imbiss that specialized in dishes from Southeastern Turkey. They made the most delicious stuffed pide and oven roasted meat and vegetable dishes.

They cooked the pide in a wood fire oven. I still dream about those pide. :wub:

The pide was stuffed with cheese or lamb or beef or aubergine and chesse.

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This is great! :smile:

Thanks for the lokum photo's, veritable jewels to look at.

I am sure you were gonna get to it, but if possible a peek at some real Turkish Sis Kebaps would be way cool... :rolleyes:

Your market looked just wonderful, and it sure is a pleasure to see how fruit and vegetables are presented in all their healthy glory.

Beautiful!

Now I just need a magic Turkish carpet and Id be there in a flash myself. :cool:

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There a Turkish bakery close to where I live and I desperately want to try the baklavas and sweets but they come in hunks/groups of 8 euros so I'll have to wait til I'm out of the poorhouse before I can take a bite!

Wow - baklava is not cheap even here (at least not if it's a good one) but 8 Euros is a lot. I love good baklava but generally could easily do with about half of what is considered a standar portion here, about 6 pieces. You need lots of strong sugarless tea to get through that!

I hope your situation resolves soon!

"Los Angeles is the only city in the world where there are two separate lines at holy communion. One line is for the regular body of Christ. One line is for the fat-free body of Christ. Our Lady of Malibu Beach serves a great free-range body of Christ over angel-hair pasta."

-Lea de Laria

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I am sure you were gonna get to it, but if possible a peek at some real Turkish Sis Kebaps would be way cool... :rolleyes:

Yes, kebap is definitely in the plans, I just have to arrange the day with a friend. Not really much fun to go to a kebap restaurant all alone; my upstairs neighbors are vegetarian (formerly vegan but that's nearly impossible here), another friend doesn't eat kebap (but he's good for Çiya I'm sure!). Ιn the meantime, here are a couple teasers:

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I'll let you just imagine how they will be cooked!

Hey - if this is food porn, does this make me something like a food pimp?

"Los Angeles is the only city in the world where there are two separate lines at holy communion. One line is for the regular body of Christ. One line is for the fat-free body of Christ. Our Lady of Malibu Beach serves a great free-range body of Christ over angel-hair pasta."

-Lea de Laria

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Now I must say that though this has been very fun, there is one little thing that has disappointed me. Remember the pickles in the market? Remember the intriguing little stuffed bundles and other stuffed ones? To jog your memories, here is a lineup of the suspects (accompanied by a pickled gherkin for added security).

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Hasn't anyone wondered what's inside? :shock: Perhaps it's time for a contest. Whoever guesses correctly (either one, they are different) gets a box of mixed lokum from Hacı Bekir in the mail!

HINT #1: The stuffing for the cabbage bundle consists of two ingredients only. The other includes the same two, plus two more.

HINT #2: Three of the ingredients are also for sale there pickled in their own right, one is not. This one, they both have in common. And it is shredded.

:cool:

Edited by sazji (log)

"Los Angeles is the only city in the world where there are two separate lines at holy communion. One line is for the regular body of Christ. One line is for the fat-free body of Christ. Our Lady of Malibu Beach serves a great free-range body of Christ over angel-hair pasta."

-Lea de Laria

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I am so enjoying this blog. Seeing the pictures makes me think that next time I visit Istanbul, it should be in the winter (when I was there, it was midsummer and really hot, which is NOT my kind of weather).

Now this is one of my all time favorite photos from a foodblog. The colors, composition, the movement, the contrast between the cold white tiles and the fierce heat of the oven, the careful attention with which the peel is pushed in the oven, the posture of the baker, it's all about loving the bread. Really beautiful!

Edited by Chufi (log)
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I am so enjoying this blog. Seeing the pictures makes me think that next time I visit Istanbul, it should be in the winter (when I was there, it was midsummer and really hot, which is NOT my kind of weather).

Yes, we are having "echte Nederlandse weer" in Istanbul! (Actually today was quite sunny.) Spring and fall are the best; you get the cool without the smog. But in winter you get boza and salep!

Thanks for your nice words!

"Los Angeles is the only city in the world where there are two separate lines at holy communion. One line is for the regular body of Christ. One line is for the fat-free body of Christ. Our Lady of Malibu Beach serves a great free-range body of Christ over angel-hair pasta."

-Lea de Laria

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BTW, Behemoth - I did try melting the helva later today. What a difference! This could become a very bad habit... Yes it's "gloopy" but almost immediately chewy once it gets in the mouth, which I really liked. I tried a little hellim with it, it was better this time. But I think I'll keep having my hellim fried for breakfast. :)

One thing I noticed, it melts at a very low temperature and burns at only a slightly higher one. So if folks try it, turn the heat way down, you won't have to wait very long!

"Los Angeles is the only city in the world where there are two separate lines at holy communion. One line is for the regular body of Christ. One line is for the fat-free body of Christ. Our Lady of Malibu Beach serves a great free-range body of Christ over angel-hair pasta."

-Lea de Laria

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Oh, and as for the pickles: I'm guessing that one of them has pickled turnips in the stuffing.

....nein. :raz:

I'll let more people guess and then supply more hints if necessary.

"Los Angeles is the only city in the world where there are two separate lines at holy communion. One line is for the regular body of Christ. One line is for the fat-free body of Christ. Our Lady of Malibu Beach serves a great free-range body of Christ over angel-hair pasta."

-Lea de Laria

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I would guess that the thing on the right side is stuffed with picked red pepper and pickled carrots?

Yep, that's two of them!

These are not the ingredients both have incommon however.

"Los Angeles is the only city in the world where there are two separate lines at holy communion. One line is for the regular body of Christ. One line is for the fat-free body of Christ. Our Lady of Malibu Beach serves a great free-range body of Christ over angel-hair pasta."

-Lea de Laria

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Since I've seen pickled whole peppers stuffed with shredded cabbage, carrots and cauliflower, I'd have to say that your cabbage roll is stuffed with carrots and cauliflower.

There are carrots inside the pepper, but not inside the cabbage. No cabbage inside either.

HINT #3: 3 of the ingredients grow underground, one above ground. :raz:

"Los Angeles is the only city in the world where there are two separate lines at holy communion. One line is for the regular body of Christ. One line is for the fat-free body of Christ. Our Lady of Malibu Beach serves a great free-range body of Christ over angel-hair pasta."

-Lea de Laria

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carrots, onions, potato          & red pepper  ?

Two ingredients right, one ingredient dead wrong. Of the two wrong ingredients however, one is in the right plant family. :)

Edited by sazji (log)

"Los Angeles is the only city in the world where there are two separate lines at holy communion. One line is for the regular body of Christ. One line is for the fat-free body of Christ. Our Lady of Malibu Beach serves a great free-range body of Christ over angel-hair pasta."

-Lea de Laria

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carrots, onions, potato          & red pepper  ?

Two ingredients right, one ingredient dead wrong. Of the two wrong ingredients however, one is in the right plant family. :)

Oooh! Oooh! Carrots, Garlic, Red pepper and er..Radish?

Hee hee. One more right ingredient! Here's a cutaway view, which should rule out the wrong one. The last one may be a bit tricky. Perfectly available in the US but generally not given the respect it deserves. A close cousin of something quite commonly used in the US but completely unknown here.

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"Los Angeles is the only city in the world where there are two separate lines at holy communion. One line is for the regular body of Christ. One line is for the fat-free body of Christ. Our Lady of Malibu Beach serves a great free-range body of Christ over angel-hair pasta."

-Lea de Laria

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By the way, this is breakfast today: Fried hellim/halloumi, heated lavash, and a packaged ginger latte, courtesy of a Canadian friend.

gallery_28660_3996_22360.jpg

"Los Angeles is the only city in the world where there are two separate lines at holy communion. One line is for the regular body of Christ. One line is for the fat-free body of Christ. Our Lady of Malibu Beach serves a great free-range body of Christ over angel-hair pasta."

-Lea de Laria

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