The Real Delights of Turkey

20130821-215626.jpg This post is waaaay overdue, it’s now been a few months since my husband and I returned from Turkey, but I still find myself wanting to greet people with a “Merhaba” and a double kiss.  And, of course, I’m still day dreaming about the food.  The culinary delights started from the meal on the plane (supper impressed by Turkish Airlines) and didn’t let up until we were back home.  I can hardly pick a list of favorites, but here’s my best try:

This is one of the most unique candy’s I’ve ever tried. When my father in law first described it as cotton candy I thought eh I’ll give it a try. To my delight this is NOTHING like the artificially colored balls of sugar kids beg for at state fairs. Pismaniye is a soft melt in your mouth bundle of sugar and pistachio that I couldn’t get enough of. Warning: it does stick to you fingers and clothes just as badly as our American cotton candy!

Pastries Galore I’ve always thought of the French as the masters of pastry but I have now been convinced that Turkey has a hand on the competition. My husband has always told me I need to try Turkish pastries because I will love them and he was absolutely right. First of all, the assortment in the stores was amazing. Everything from homemade ice cream, cookies, eclairs to cakes that could double as art work. It quickly became clear I would not be walking out of the bakery with just a cookie for the road. About twelve eclairs, twenty cookies and an entire cake later we decided we had enough loot to bring home.

Street Food photo
An unexpected culinary find was Turkey’s street food culture. Most of this food was some version of bread which made is extra appealing to my carb-loving self. I was super happy to discover treats such as simit, which I can only the Turkish version of a sesame seed bagel, and the late night kokorec, a kind of lamb sandwich which was perfectly satisfying after a very late night.

Of course, the real delight of this trip was the people. I was blessed to meet and get to know the rest of my Turkish family and I couldn’t feel luckier to have such become part of such a great group of people. The amount of love and belonging I felt was truly special and won’t ever be forgotten.