Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Guest Post: Wirie’s Tastes from Turkey

Istanbul… City of sultans, mosques and palaces surrounded by The Bosphorus, Golden Horn and Marmara Sea, with one foot in Europe and one in Asia.

Real foodies always rent apartments with kitchens so that they can really experience the cuisine of a country. Within an hour after settling into our new home I go hunting for the “Carrefour” (supermarket) and it’s definitely not a foodie paradise, but good enough to stock up on the basics. We find the local food quite bland, the basic ingredients being mince, tomato, onion, garlic, peppers, lemon and parsley with a dash of cumin and cinnamon.

The best produce is to be found at their veggie shops. Gorgeous blood red tomatoes, sweet onions, peppers of every shape and variety, figs and peaches the size of tennis balls. The juice shops have juicy oranges and pomegranates to die for. Nuts are in abundance; walnuts the size of apricots and every type of dried fruit in full colour. A must is their pistachio baklava, and a variety of Turkish Delight – locally called “Lokum”.

Oh by the way…..contrary to popular belief, they are a nation of sweet tea drinkers, not Turkish coffee drinkers!

Delicious fat olives, sweet tomatoes, onions & bread.

Colourful little restaurants in noisy alleys.  

Olives in every colour, shape and flavour. 

Amazing fresh produce.

Saucy meat dish covered in grilled cheese. 

Fresh mussels on the street.

Beautiful Pomegranates. 

Cooking in the apartment.

Juice bar.

Marinated Olives Recipe

We did find one gorgeous deli/restaurant with a display of olives and cheeses that was mouth-watering. That inspired me to make this olive mix, gorgeous with your sundowners or as pre-meal snack.

Take handfuls of olives. Any kind; black, green, calamta, stuffed with pimento,  whatever you have available.

Mix the olives with some freshly squeezed lemon juice and olive oil, season with a touch of black pepper.

Add walnuts (or pecan nuts), sun dried tomato, haloumi cubes, chopped red chilli and sprigs of fresh rosemary.

For an South African twist add Peppadew Sweet Piquant Peppers.

Serve with crusty bread to mop up the sauces.

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