Europe

What and where to eat in Istanbul


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Quality foods, natural flavors, careful preparation. These are the ingredients of Turkish cuisine, a perfect blend of Mediterranean and Asian, rich in fragrant spices, olive oil, fresh vegetables, meat and fish. Healthy cooking and varied, with many local specialties that alone are worth the trip to Istanbul. The best places to enjoy the Turkish cuisine are the more modest restaurants offering simple and tasty dishes such as lokanta, inns, where the portions are plentiful and there is a wide choice of food, and the Kebapci Kofteci, specialized respectively in the preparation of kebabs (mutton or lamb) and köfte, meatballs of lamb with spices, the meyhane, taverns serving meze (cold and hot) sipping raki (anise liqueur). Even on the street, walking restaurateurs prepare tasty snacks of all kinds, from various borek (puff pastry pie filled with cheese or meat), the balik ekmek (sandwich with grilled fish), and lahmacun (pizza topped with lamb, onion and tomato sauce). Honey, milk, sugar and dry fruits are the protagonists of Turkish pastries, a real paradise for gourmands. Among the sweets, a place of honor should the famous baklava, pastry phyllo dough topped with chopped walnuts or pistachios, baked and sweetened with syrup or honey. Also good puddings, such as muhallebi, milk pudding thickened with rice flour and possibly flavored with orange flower water and mastic. Invite the tasting lokum (Turkish delight), colored cubes of jelly candy (with hazelnuts, pistachio or walnut) made with essences of fruit or flowers. Among the beverages, the cay, or tea, it is the most popular drink, poured boiling in the classic tulip-shaped glass. Very popular is also the apple tea, elma cay, fragrant and relaxing. To try, at least once, the turkish coffee (kahve), which is sipped slowly and in small sips. As you know, the tradition says that after drinking the coffee sediment that settles to the bottom can be “read” to predict the future.

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