Goat’s milk cheese aged in a goat skin. Imagine what that tasted like.
Turkey produces a selection of nuts – almonds, walnuts and hazelnuts in particular. So fresh and so delicious. We saw them piled up in markets all over. But on this tour we visited a store that displayed them like jewels.
We tried pistachios from different regions (they are different!) as well as such yummy hazelnuts. Turkey has been exporting hazelnuts to Europe for the manufacture of Nutella for ever. Someone finally thought – hmm. Maybe we should just make the stuff where the nuts are, so a factory is opening in Turkey. But I digress.
After a stop at the green grocers for fresh figs and grapes it was time for the pickle shop. The Turks like to pickle pretty much everything. Not just the usual suspects like beets and cucumbers. Whole heads of garlic? As well as the samples of pickles we got a glass of pickle juice – pale pink in colour, tart – I quite liked it. But opinion was divided on this one!
After a stop for Turkish coffee it was on to lunch. Tough work, some one’s gotta do it. We had a selection of regional salads – not green salads, but vegetables mixed with yoghurt and other interesting combos. And stuffed zucchini flowers. To accompany the salads we had deep fried horse mackerel, little fishes about 4″ long, gutted but otherwise whole. Opinion was divided about eating the heads…..
In case we were still hungry we stopped for Turkish pizza topped with lamb, then ambled over for tantuni, which looks sort of like a burrito:
Stuffed with beef and accompanied with a nice foamy mug of ayran. We made a stop for Kokorech, which Wilf and I didn’t have this time as we had it yesterday and we knew there was baklava in the offing. Must have been done differently than what we had because it was a big fail. Honestly one gal was trying to back away from her own tongue and another didn’t get it past her nose. The only solution was, of course, get something else to eat. So, another round of baklava – so good. The Turks make it with syrup, not honey, which I prefer. Our last stop for the day was for soup made from sheep’s heads and feet. Sounds disgusting but was delicious.
And there we were at 4:00, having put in a solid day of eating. All kinds of interesting foods. It got us away from the tourist treadmill of hummus and kebabs. Some things we liked, some we loved, a few we didn’t care for. We learned a lot about the country and its people – it was a great way to spend a few days.