The Gallery of Turkish Food, Part One

I have tried to write down names of things, and will undoubtedly get some of them wrong, but will happily accept corrections. Some of these are local specialties, etc. etc. Please enjoy.

Turkish delight with pistachios

Turkish delight with pistachios

Okay, so I’m not a sweet eater, but this little hole-in-the-wall sweet shop was definitely special. In the  center of Adana, in an area with lots of artisans (real artisans, making pots and pans and such, not tourist-pleasing artisans). The minute you walk in, they ply you with all kinds of goodies so that of course you have to buy. About $4 US got me a pound of chocolate halvah and a half pound of Turkish delight with sesame seeds. I hope they make it home.

Turkish delight with other nuts

Turkish delight with other nuts

More sweets

More sweets

A mountain of chocolate halvah with pistachios

A mountain of chocolate halvah with pistachios

More Turkish delight

More Turkish delight

Turkish delight and beyond

Turkish delight and beyond

Can you tell I was a bit obsessed with the sweet shop?

Appetizers at a party

Appetizers at a party

A party tonight after the first day of the conference in Adana. Interestingly enough, in Turkish it’s called “A Cocktail.” Less interesting is the fact that there were no cocktails. It is a Muslim country, after all.

Stuffed grape leaves and something in phyllo

Stuffed grape leaves and something in phyllo

Tirit

Tirit

Tirit is a type of stew made with bread and yogurt, peppers, meat, and other goodies. I thought it was really good. A colleague from the US Embassy didn’t like hers and tried to feed it to the feral cats. They didn’t really like it either.

Höşmerim

Höşmerim

This is a local specialty in Konya–it’s roasted flour, butter, sugar, cream, sprinkled with pistachios. Kind of like high class cookie dough. Not bad.

Kebab and bulgur salad

Kebab and bulgur salad

Börek

Börek

More börek

More börek

Börek comes in various shapes and sizes, but these were large flat, paper-thin filled pastries. I had mushroom and spinach, others had cheese and potatoes. They just throw them on some paper at the table and everyone digs in. In our case, we were running late, so we ate it in about 10 minutes. And it was yum.

Mulberries picked from the university grounds

Mulberries picked from the university grounds

I think this might be the first time I’ve eaten a mulberry au naturel. (The mulberry, not me.)

An artistic but not tasty interpretation of mezze

An artistic but not tasty interpretation of mezze

When good intentions go bad. The only kind of ‘fancy’ food I ate–an artsy interpretation of mezze–various little Mediterranean goodies.  Eggplant that was pickled and slimy, bulgur that was tasteless, microscopic stuffed grape leaves, some kind of cheese (that was fine, but just cheese), and something with a nut on top. Meh on the mezze.

Kebab of some sort, lentil soup with lemon, too much bread

Kebab of some sort, lentil soup with lemon, too much bread

A counterpoint to fancy food. Plain old soup and kebab. Worked for me.

Goat milk ice cream and quince substance

Goat milk ice cream and quince substance

Last but definitely not least–I don’t eat regular dairy, and rarely eat sugar. But, sometimes, I miss ice cream. A revelation: goat’s milk ice cream with quince paste on the side. Oh yeah. I’m glad it was small, because I probably would have eaten a quart of it.

Somehow, I either missed taking a picture of the lamb pide (a kind of pastry boat filled with lamb, fresh tomatoes and herbs) I had last night, or something. It was great. I’ll have to eat it again so I can get a picture.

To be continued. Next stop tomorrow is Gaziantep. Everyone here says it’s the best food in Turkey.