Living in a city that is 4 times the size of New York and navigating the maze of streets, all in another language, can be a bit challenging…to say the least. Through a crazy chain of events, this is now ‘home’, and it’s a place I truly love. When I first arrived, I wanted to see everything … but mostly, I wanted to EAT everything. Food is the best way to know another culture.
I will never forget my own food memories, helping my grandmother make biscuits in her kitchen every summer. Every time I eat bread I am transported back to her kitchen in the deep south, in the sweltering heat of summer.
That’s what food is: a memory, a story, a good day, a bad day.
I discovered Istanbul by tasting all it had to offer and loving every new piece of knowledge that was gained after each bite. Spending days traipsing through the city hunting for the best stuffed grape leaves (yaprak sarma), and braving the hot summer to eat fish sandwiches (balık ekmek) from my favorite vendor by the Bosphorus not only kept me full, but propelled me on my adventure of exploration. It is in talking about food that I feel most comfortable to recount parts of my journey and tell my own story.
Learning about Turkish food has not only given me my own memories of the city, but also has helped me to connect with locals while they share their own memories with me. For each dish there is something exciting to be learned. There’s the importance of the ingredients, the history of the region, and also there’s learning how someone’s grandmother taught them how to cook.
I wanted to start this blog to share what is so dear to me about this place. I will write about food from restaurants, food that I love, recipes told to me by friends, and recipes that I desperately try (and sometimes fail) to make on my own.
Enjoy and Afiyet Olsun