Italy was too good. But all good trips come to an end and you have to head back to home. Well! In this case, I headed towards my second home, Turkey.
I have tons and tons of happy memories from the land of Turks. What’s amazing is, this place never fails to baffle me with a new delicacy or two.
My first trip to Turkey was in the year 2007 as an intern in Ankara Chambers of Commerce. I was quite fortunate to stay with a Turkish family, that helped me to lay hands at eat authentic local Turkish dishes.
The street food reflects eating habits and preferences of any area. While in India we have many fried foods like samosas, kachoris etc. to name a few, Turks prefer the healthier option of roasting and baking.
The street food culture of Turkey is flabbergasting. Here, I have penned down the 5 best street foods of Turkey under TL 15 (INR 300)
Kumpir is a basic jacket potato or baked potato dish. It is a popular fast food of Turkey, made out potato and butter. In Turkey, they get very big potatoes, at least 3 times the size of what we get in India. Potatoes are stuffed with veggies, baked beans, American corn, cheese, mayonnaise, ketchup, etc. and are baked until the crust becomes crispy.
Simit is one of the many breads available in Turkey. It is a white bread made using fine flour. Turkish people eat it with almost everything and anything, right from fruit preserves to cheese. But it best goes with traditional chai served in a special cup.
Simit is a circular bread, typically encrusted with sesame seeds or sunflower seeds. It has been a popular food item in Turkey since the rein of the Ottoman Empire in 1500s.
Turks often make sandwiches using Simit by filling in freshly diced tomatoes, cucumber and loads of cheese.
Lamb kofte with Ekmek ( sosaties with bread )
A special treat from the streets of Istanbul, Lamb Kofte are basically minced lamb patties. grilled to perfection. Kofte carts can be easily found near to Sahil Ceddesi ( sea road ). Istanbul has a beautiful sea side.
A traditional bread which looks similar to French baguette is served alongside Lamb Kofte. It is usually topped with tomatoes and sumac flavoured onions to enhance the taste. This Turkish meat sandwhich is wholesome and is a good option for a quick brunch.
Kestane is a popular variety of chestnut, grown in Marmara Sea and Black Sea region. Kestane Kebab or roasted Kestane is a popular winter sanck in Turkey. You can find vendors shouting “kestane kebab” on the streets of Turkey. These kebabs are sold in paper bags of 100 , 150 and 400 grams. Chestnuts are roasted until it opens up and the flesh of the chestnut is exposed. It tastes similar to hazelnut.
Dondurma ( Turkish ice cream )
After my delightful gelato experience in Italy, my ice cream standards soared high. So, I would not say that Dondurma is one of the best ice creams I have ever had. But the way it is served is surely uncommon and a treat to the eyes. This ice cream has a lot of elasticity and is known for pranks played using it. The vendors often do many tricks to attract the tourists. Flavors of chocolate, coffee, melon, and bubblegum are the most famous ones.
We had a great time watching our friend, Nitin Setia get pranked by this guy. (Video Above) This looks so much fun. Isn’t it? This also attracts visitors to try this ice-cream.
You should not miss on these street delicacies when in Turkey. These dishes are available at dirt cheap prices and super yummy.
I will be back with many more gastronomical stories. Stay tuned!