On food

The food in Turkey is fantastic, though not at all what I had expected.  When you go to a Turkish restaurant in America you fill up on hummus, babaganouch, and pita.  Turns out these are Lebanese and nowhere to be found in Turkey.  That said, the food is very tasty.  Yummy yogurt sauces, mezes galore, the freshest gooist baklava in the world.  And lots of eggplant.  According to a Turkish cookbook there are 900 ways to prepare eggplant.  900!  And none of those are the rubbery cubes you find in America.  The other prized ingredient is lamb, which, though I haven’t eaten red meat for 6 years, I decided I had no choice but to eat–it was that or bird flu.  I do not dislike the taste of lamb so a kebob/day seems to be working out okay wıth my mind and stomach.  

But yesterday I ran into a hurdle.  Steve and I sat down for lunch at a kebap house and asked for the menu.  The man made it obvious that there was no menu and that they had only one dish.  Not knowing what it was, but being quıte hungry and by this point pretty much stuck, we ordered 2 plates.  Shortly thereafter the man returned and proudly presented us each with a heaping plate of just-out-of-the-oil fried lamb slices.  No vegetable, no garnish, no sauce, not even any potatoes.  He did bring a huge basket of the now-dreaded bleached white bread.  Needlesstosay my stomach was a little lurchy on the bus ride that followed.   

My biggest disappointment is the preponderance of white sliced bread.  I’m not talking about the tannısh white bread of America.  No, here it is napkin white, bleached through and through white bread.  Only once have we found fresh-from-the-oven pita, and it was absolutely spectacular.  We have decided to choose our restaurants by the bread we see people eating through the windows. Bread aside, our meals here have been meals to remember!  Tonight we are headed to the hippest part of town for some Armenian grub!

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