Monday - Göztepe, Uskudar/Bağlarbaşı area near Selami Ali Mahallesi /Asian Side
Tuesday - Arnavutköy, Levent/European Side, Bahçeşehir,Kadıköy /Asian Side
Wednesday - Fatih and Yeşilköy /European Side ,ÖzgürlükPark/Asian Side
Thursday - Ulus/European Side , Erenkoy - near the railroad tracks/Asian Side
Friday - Uskudar - near Uskudar High Street /Asian Side
Saturday - Beşiktaş and Bakırköy/European Side, Bahçeşehir /Asian Side
Saturdays - an Organic produce market in the Feriköy district of ~Sıs~li, (Bomonti Caddesi, Lala Şahin Sokak), from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m./European Side
Sunday - Tarlabaşı/European Side
Owing to its favourable climatic conditions and good soil a wide variety of grapes can be grown in Turkey. Visitors in Turkey are beginning to discover that there are some very good wines being made here. Turkey ranks sixth in world grape production. Although vineyards are spread all over the country, production is mainly concentrated in the Aegean, Mediterranean and Central Anatolian regions. Most Turkish wines are made from native wine grape varieties. Turkish wine producers are also using the native grapes in combination with European varieties to create high quality new wines with a new taste for the world wine market.
Some of the native grapes and their characteristics: SULTANIYE
Produced in the town of Manisa and Denizli, situated in the Aegean province of Turkey bordering the Mediterranean province the grape is being produced at 200 meters above sea level and 1200 meters high in the town of Denizli. Sultaniye grape is light in texture, producing pleasant wines with fruit and spice aromas. It is highly recommended with all seafood, chicken and cheese as well as with all sweet pastries. NARINCE
Produced in Tokat a town situated in North Central Anatolia region close to Black Sea province. Narince is a variatel wine with a yellow and greenish color. This elegant wine has flowery and strong fruit aromas. Goes well with seafood, chicken and cheese. MISKET
The original name is Misket of Bornova.This variety is mostly grown in Izmir. The grains are medium size and round shaped.When ripe it has a red colour. It does not have too much must.This variety has a characteristical flavour and savour which consists of tropical fruits, flower, citrus, thyme anddaphne. Both dry and sweet Muscat wines are produced. Produces aromatic,live,light,easy to drink,clear golden yellow colored wines. Has basil,rose,mint,honey,bergamot,jasmine, melisa,orange blossom, daisy,grapefruit and melon aromas. Misket wine is a perfect aperitif wine. It is very coherent with neutral cheese,nuts,appetizers with sea food and slades that do not overshadow its aroma. KALECIK KARASI
Produced from the grapes of Kalecik town in Ankara. The characteristics of this wine is burgundy red with bright purple hue, fresh red fruit at first followed by vanilla, banana, cherry, caramel aromas. Displays medium body and leaves velvet softness in the mouth. Kalecik Karası is goods for aging 8 to 10 years. Recommend either with red meat and cheese. OKUZGOZU
Produced from the grapes of certificated Okuzgozu vineyard in Elaz?g near the Euphrates river in Southeastern region of Turkey. The characteristics of this wine is medium body, well balanced, good quality soft tannins, dark in color with purple hue, very in rich aromas of red fruits also soft touch of tobacco and leather notes. This special wine aging very well and good up to 8 years. Recommended with red meat, kebabs and steaks, spaghettis, pastas & cheese. BOGAZKERE
Produced from the grapes of certificated Bogazkere vineyards of Elaz?g near the Tigris river in Southeastern region of Turkey. The characteristics of this wine is strong body, very enjoyable long finishing, dark red color with dark blue hue, very rich and strong aromas of dried red fruits, spices. Good for aging up to 10 years. Recommended with red meat kebabs, turkey, salmon and cheese. Especially eastern Anatolian cheddar or Gruyere cheese. Wine is a culture gradually gaining more prestige in Turkey, and seems that the production and consumption have also increased in Turkey. There are efforts to establish its place among quality product in the global market. There are many wine boutiques in big cities. Moreover, some wine lovers have begun to produce their own wine at home.
Everyone knows Istanbul is a great place to shop. The problem is knowing exactly where to find the most exclusiveof treasures; the best olive oil, olives, cheese, pistachio nuts, Turkish Delight – lokum , marzipan, Turkish Coffee, butarga, caviar, pomegranate molasses, spices, baklava, wooden spoons, Turkish coffee cups, Turkish teaglasses ...textiles, jewelery, ceramics,Turkish towels,colorful lamps,trendy leather jackets,antique shops,galleries etc. Selin, an expert shopper herself and local Istanbuliote can help you and knows all the nooks and crannies in town. Please contact us about details.
Turkish Delight(Lokum) from reputable stores
Turkish Olive oil
100 % pure Pomegranate Molasses
Turkish dried fruits and nuts - pistachio nuts!
Assortment of Turkish black and green olives
Red pepper paste, dried vegetables(eggplant,bell pepper,zucchini)
It is said that an old bazaar called Makron Envalos previously existed where the current Egyptian Bazaar stands.
The Egyptian Bazaar with its L-shape structure is located on the west side of the New Mosque (Yeni Cami). The year following the mosque’s construction, the "bazaar" section of the complex has been added by Mustafa Ağa, the head-architect of the Ottoman Palace. The main reason for it being called the “Egyptian Bazaar” is that it was built by the taxes collected from Cairo, Egypt. After the 18th century, this name began to be commonly used. The bazaar was originally called the “Valide Bazaar” or the “New Bazaar,” then it was later called the “Mısır Çarşısı” (Egyptian Bazaar). It has six doors total. The part near the Haseki Gate was designed as a double-storied structure and the upper floor also used as a court hall where cases between tradesmen and people were heard.
At the intersection of the the short and long branches of the bazaar an area is called the “Prayer Field” (Dua Meydanı) is located where an “Adhan ( Muslim call to prayer) Kiosk” is found. This section, designed and built out of wood, is the most notable part of the Bazaar. Once the bazaar opens, an officer in charge calls a prayer for the tradesmen and wishes them a high income.
Not only have spices been sold in the Egyptian Bazaar, but all sorts of medicines were sold during the old times in the bazaar as well. Signs used to be posted in conspicuous area of the shops. Most of the medicines were prepared according to the recipes from the book, “Nüzhet-ül Fi Tercüme-Afiyet” (A good appetite). Today, the bazaar has jewelry stores, herb and spice sellers, gift shops, etc.
The Egyptian Bazaar suffered heavy losses during the two large fires in 1691 and 1940. It took its present shape in 1940 after being restored by the Municipality of Istanbul.
SPICES , HERBS AND FLAVOURINGS IN THE TURKISH CUISINE
During the Golden Age of Islam, between the 8th and 12th Centuries, with Mecca as the religious centre and Baghdad the capital ,the cooking of the Middle East flourished. Arab ships sailed to China for silk and porcelaine and to the East Indies for spices. The cooking of the region as a whole soon altered as these spices and flavourings arrived at the markets of Egypt, Constantinople and Venice. Empires traded with one another, or imposed their tastes on the lands they conquered. As the ancient ying and yang theories of China filtered through to the Seljuk Empire, a belief balancing the warming and cooling properties of certain foods developed in the traditional Turkish Kitchen and set the course for many dishes. Warming spices such as cumin, cinnamon, allspice,cloves,and Turkish red pepper are believed to induce appetite and aid digestion;generous quantities of fresh herbs,particularly mint,dill and flat leave parsley, are often mixed together as a warming triad to balance the cooling properties of some vegetable dishes and salads;pungent garlic, which is used liberally in Eastern and Southern Anatolia but is added in subtle amounts to Ottoman Palace dishes,is believed to be beneficial forthe healthy circulation of the blood.
ALL SPICE(Yeni Bahar)
Dried reddish-brown allspice berries originally came to Constantinople from the New World during the Ottoman – Spanish alliance and are therefore known as Yeni bahar ,”New Spice”.Its principal role is to flavour the aromatic rice that is used to stuff vegetables, fruit, mussels and small poultry.
ANISEED ( Anason)
The most important role of aniseed is in the flavouring of Rakı.
Brought to the region from the Spice Islands by Arab traders, cinnamon quickly became absorbed in to the Turkish culinary culture. The Turks use ground cinnamon in a number of minced ground lamb dishes such as köfte and musakka,and vegetable stews.It is used to flavour rice dishes such as iç pilavı and is also sprinkled over milk puddings and the hot orchid –root drink, salep.
CLOVES ( Karanfil)
Crushed or whole,cloves are mainly used in meat casseroles,sweets,breads and pastries. Whole cloves are chewed to freshen the breath.
CUMIN ( Kimyon)
Believed to aid digestion cumin is used in number of dishes that might cause a degree of indegistion or flatulence, such as pulse dishes and some vegetable stews. Cumin is also one of the principal flavourings of sucuk, the cured sausage,and its combined with fenugreek and kırmızı biber in çemen,the paste that coats the cured beef fillet, pastırma.
With long feathery fronds,fresh dill is used both as a garnish and a traditional flavouring in many Turkish dishes. Chopped it is added to a number of meze and vegetable dishes, Such as the Palace Zeytinyaglı ( olive oil) dishes.Dill is often combined with mint and flat leaf parsley in the cheese filling for savoury pastries.
FLAT LEAF PARSLEY (Maydanoz)
Coarsely chopped ,it is added to numerous meze dishes and salads,such as the popular shepherd’s salad and it is often served in its own with fish or meat kebabs.Parsley is also married with dill and mint for the cheese filling of savoury pastries. When it is used as a garnish,flat leaf parsley is intented to be eaten to heighten the appetite or temper the flavours, and small bunches of parsley always accompany fiery dishes with the idea that you chew on the leaves to cut the spice.
MASTIC ( Mastika)
This is the aromatic gum from a tree that grows wild in the Mediterranean region of Turkey. The blobs of sticky gum are collected from the tree and used for the delicious resinious flavour and chewy tang they impart to dishes.It is mainly used in milk desserts and in the famous snowy white ,chewy ice cream from Istanbul.
Both fresh and dried leaves of mint are used in meze dishes.The dried leaves are used in tea, in the traditional soup, yayla çorbası, and in several thick meze dips such as haydari, a popular yogurt,mint and garlic dip.
In Turkey, nigella is most commonly associated with çörek a sweet bun. It is sometimes inaccurately referred to as black cumin.The little black seeds give a lift to many breads and buns such as pide.They are occasionally tossed in salads and sprinkled over cheese.
OREGANO (Kekik) AND THYME (Dağ Kekiği)
Fresh oregano leaves are sometimes scattered over white cheese or tossed in salads but, generally, the herb is sun dried and crumbled or finely chopped. It is the favourite herb to scatter over roasted or grilled (broiled) lamb. Both dried oregano and thyme are popular herbs for flavoring the marinades prepared for olives as they retain their flavor and texture in the olive oil,and they are scattered over savory breads.
RED PEPPER (Pul Biber)
In essence kırmızı biber is a red pepper,a type of horn chilli that came originally from the New World,but has grown in Turkey for several centuries and is regarded with pride.In fact you could say that it is the national spice.Roughly chopped, crushed and flaked,or groundin to a powder,it ranges from vermilion colour to a deep,blood red,and its almost black when roasted. At its hottest it is known as pul biber, which is very finely ground and used sparingly. The best quality form is sold rady oiled,so that impacts its flavour immediately,even in uncooked dishes. Nothing tastes quite like the real thing but in recipes can be replaced by paprika or fresh red chilli.
SAFFRON ( Safran)
Cultivated in Turkey and neighbouring Iran, saffron is the dye contained in the dried stigmas of the purple crocus,which flowers for only two weeks in October. It requires a staggering number of flowers ( roughly 10,000) to yield a mere 50 g(2oz) of saffron- hence the high price. Used mainly in milk desserts and ice cream, saffron is occasionaly used in savoury dishes in Turkey,but its key role is in Zerde, a special jelly like rice dessert that is often prepared for wedding feasts.
Turkish Saffron is an imitation saffron made from wild flowers in te southeast of Turkey. It looks similar but doesn’t have a great deal of flavour.It is mainly used for its color in a few rice dishes and in hot yogurt soup.
SESAME SEEDS ( Susam)
Sesame seeds are pounded into a thick oily paste,tahin,which is used in sauces and fillings and is spread on bread when sweetened and lubricated with pekmez(grape molasses). The seeds are also sprinkled on simit-bread rings.
A deep red condiment, sumac is made by crushing and grinding the dried berries of a wild bush that grows in Anatolia and parts of the Middle East. The ground spice has a fruity,sour taste and is used sprinkled liberally over grilled meats,fish and salads. Long before the arrival of lemons in Turkey and the Middle East, sumac was used as one of the principal souring agents ,along with juice of sour pomegranates, to season,flavor and preserve a variety of foods. When eating in Turkey today, particularly in a kebab house or a specialist lokanta(small restaurant) for grilled chicken, fish, pastries and lahmacun( Anatolian pizza),small bowls of ground sumac,are often placed on the table as a principal condiment, with dried oregano and kırmızı biber.
KÖFTE SPICE -(Meat ball spice) Ground sweet red pepper, ground hot red pepper,ground black red pepper, ground cumin,dried oregano, dried mint
POPULAR TURKISH CHEESE
Beyaz Peynir - ( White cheese) is a general term for the white crumbly ewe’s milk cheese that you will see mostfrequently and which every Turkish housewife has on her table.
It teams up well with black or green olives,wines ,grapes and apples. It is one of the popular cheese to serve with rak? and as part of a selection of meze.
Kaşer- This is Turkey’s best known and most popular cow’s milk cheese. It resembles a mild or medium Cheddar and they both have the same pale yellow colour and texture and gain their uniqaue flavour after being left on shelves tomature over several months. Taze Kaşer comes in commercially produced, vacuum packed rectangular logs but this is not the same as thereal thing which is Eski (old) Kaşer, produced in wheel shaped moulds,mostly around Van and Kars.The cheese seller cuts off as much as you require.The European side of Turkey also makes a Kaser called Trakya Kaşer but the flavour is not as rounded as expansive as its Anatolian cousin.
The making of Kaşkaval cheese was a Jewish tradition and the Jewish residents of Trakya( European Turkey) were well known for their excellent cheeses. They produced cheese here well into the 1930’s. It is widely believed that the name of this cheese, Kaser , was an adaptation of the word Kashkaval which probably meant “kosher cheese”.
Lor – A soft white ,moist cheese which stays fresh for only a few days. It is often compared to Italian ricotta cheese. The best is made from ewe’s milk. The lack of distinct flavour makes it ideal for cooking or baking.
Tulum – This versatile cheese resembles Cheshire in its slightly mealy taste and crumbly texture. It is perfect withbread or toast also accompanies olives or pickles as an energizing snack.
ESSENTIALS OF TURKISH CUISINE
If one vegetable could sum up Turkey, it would be the aubergine. Originally from India, aubergines are sometimes referred to as the poor man’s meat. They pop up everywhere,prepared and cooked in infinite ways. During the Ottoman period,The Topkapı Palace alone was known to produce aubergines in forty different ways. Available all year round they range from bulbous and gourd-like to the long, slender variety which sometimes stretch to the length of a forearm. The rounder ones are good for grilling over charcoal,while the longer present a perfect shape for stuffing.
Many meze dishes require the softened flesh of grilled aubergines,which has a strong, smoky taste. To grill the aubergines are placed directly in the centre of a high gas flame.Before being fried, the aubergine is peeled lengthways in strips,like the stripes of a zebra,sliced or left whole and soaked in salted water for an hour to soften the flesh and removethe bitter juices.
Strings of dried aubergines hang in the markets like chunky necklaces and once reconstituted in water, are stuffed with rice and cooked in olive oil or stuffed with minced meat. And from Antalya comes an usual speciality of aubergine jam which surprisingly,tastes of
"Bulgur" is probably the most authentic of all the food products of the Eastern Mediterranean. It is produced by grinding wheat after boiling and drying it. It has an almost 4.000 years old history and has reached its present form after having somehow found a place at the tables of almost all important civilizations of the area such as the Hittites, the Babylonians and the Romans. It has blended into the many different cultures belonging to different civilizations that have existed on a geography reaching from Syria and North Africa to the Balkans and living under the rule of the Ottomans for hundreds of years. Regardless of where it has gone and how it has changed during the course of its long travels through historic time and place, one fact remains unchanged; just like wheat from whose line it descends, "bulgur" is a true Mediterranean possessing all the typical characteristics of the area.
"Bulgur", which is the main ingredient of numerous delicious dishes, including the "köftes" (meat balls), the pilafs and the "sarmas” (leaf rolls) in the eastern part of the Mediterranean, has basically two different types; the roughly ground one, called the "pilaf bulgur" and the finely ground one, called the "köfte bulgur". The many different bulgur dishes which taste so different from one another are made of either one of these two. Some of these dishes happen to be the most easily prepared dishes of the Eastern Mediterranean, while some are among the most time consuming and painstaking recipes of the whole area. This fact is a result of a very striking feature of bulgur: Bulgur is actually a readymade product, Although it is possible to ornate and enrich its taste with various other ingredients, soaking it in hot water for a while is basically sufficient to make it edible.
Bulgur also happens to be one of the most ritual-creating products on earth. Because it posesses all the nutrition and taste features of wheat as well as all of its cultural richness, both its preparation and its consumption tend to be special enough to often turn it into ceremonies or festivals for the people of the area.
Ref: Setting Similar Tables Around The Same Sea – Conservatory of Mediterranean Cuisines - Turkey
Turkey has its own hung and cured meats made from veal and beef. The most common are Pastırma, a cured fillet of veal encased in çemen, which is a thick dark red paste made from fenugreek,cumin, red pepper and garlic; and sucuk,a spicy beef sausage often flavoured with cumin ,which looks like salami. Both vary from region to region- sliced and eaten as a snack, stuffed in to savory pastries or cooked with vegetables such as beans,lentils and eggs.
From fertile plains of Bursa to the lush valleys of Erzurum,Turkey’s fruit basket is plentiful- juicy peaches and apricots,black and white mulberries, dates, pomegranates, apples, quince, oranges and tangerines, grapes, melon and watermelon, figs, cherries and bananas. A surprisng variety of fruit grows in the arid soil of Cappadocia. For centuries the fruit has been stored in the caves carved in to rock formations,where the cool, dry atmosphere matures it,enhancing the flavour without losing any of the texture.
All fruit is enjoyed in its fresh form, and most is cooked with sugar to make jam or Pestil , a hard ,thin strip of dried cooked fruit( fruit leather ) which is chewed for its flavour. White mulberries are dried and eaten like popcorn,apples are dried and used in tea. Unripe green figs impart a delicate honey flavour when cooked with sugar, to make a unique syrupy jam- yeşil incir reçeli.Grapes form the basis ofüzüm pekmeza grape syrup which is often mixed with tahin,to make a popular spread for bread.Nar ekşisiis a dark pomegranate syrup which has sweet-sour taste –good for sharpening dressings and marinades.
The pale kernels of the black cherry are ground in to a fine fl