Frying the bread-crumbed hamsi, and preparing gözleme
Although I am a long term resident of Istanbul, there is always something to discover about this unique city. Recently, I met up with Canero, of Urban Adventures, and took the Istanbul Street Food Picnic Tour, to discover more about traditional Turkish cuisine.
My guide, Canero
Our first stop was to a small outlet specialising in Gozleme and hamsi (anchovies). Gozleme is a popular street food made of layered pastry, and resembles a folded pancake, stuffed with either cheese, spinach, or potato; or a mixture of these. Canero ordered cheese and spinach, which we ate, together with fried hamsi, a specialty of the Black Sea region of Turkey.
I insisted we shared the fried hamsi (anchovy) and gözleme, as I didn't want to
spoil my appetite for the rest of the tour!
We watched Turkish pide being made. It is baked in an oven, similar to a pizza oven
We stopped for a glass of Ayran, made from yogurt, water and salt.
We visited a delicatessen, where Canero bought some pastirma (pastrami) for our picnic
There were stacks of fresh honeycomb, a breakfast staple in Turkey
Canero bought some sweet desserts for me to taste
Finally we entered the spice bazaar, where Canero introduce me to a wonderful emporium, full of Turkish delight, exotic teas, and aromatic spices. We were entertained royally, while I was shown the range of products with an explanation of their provenance.
Some of the delights of the Spice Bazaar
Canero levitating over the shop
Night was beginning to draw in when we bought some chestnuts to complete our meal
Normally, the tour would end with a picnic in Gulhane Park, but this is winter, and a picnic in the park wasn't really feasible. Instead, we took our picnic to the edge of the Golden Horn, where we enjoyed some warming Turkish tea with our delicious selection of typical Turkish eats.