More Turkish Delights

CIMG1051.JPGHaving failed to find cilantro, fennel, cardamom or ginger for some of our favorite recipes, we thought we might have more success with a Turkish recipe. Turkish Lamb Pitas with Tomato Sauce were a surprising tasty treat, even though we didn’t find cilantro—apparently it’s not actually Turkish. I feared using too much allspice, but it added a pleasant earthness along with the mint. We couldn’t seem to stuff enough yogurt into the pita, having to repeat the process as we ate to the bottom.

Pastries in Turkey are mostly variations on baklava, nuts and pastry soaked in syrup. We found a little shop in Beyo?lu with continuous stream of customers waiting for their turn at the counter, always a good sign.


Of the three pastries we purchased, the pistatio baklava was by far the best, probably the best I’ve ever had, and the other two were a bit of a disappointment. The large square was mostly shredded wheat, sort of like the cereal with a layer of nuts and soaked in a syrup. Unfortunately that syrup was not very sweet or otherwise flavorful. The green roll was almost mushy with the not-so-sweet syrup and the pistatio flavor was subtle. However, we are not giving up, there are many more sweets to try at the same store. Perhaps we can watch what other people order.

CIMG1055.JPG We like coffee with our dessert and what better coffee for Turkish baklava than Turkish coffee. I knew nothing about how to make it. When Janet inquired about the location of the Turkish coffee pot I responded, “That cup with the stick on it?” Fortunately we found an entertaining web page with excellent step-by-step instructions, so Janet was able to make it successfully on the first try. The process is quite touchy, requiring the right combination of water, sugar and coffee and then must be carefully heated and stirred in several steps to create a foaming reaction. The taste is…different, sort of like burnt chocolate. It is bitter, as expected, but not thick, except for the sludge that formed on the bottom of the cup. I’d drink it again.

Comments are closed.