Cheese Pastries and Eggplant – The Wonderful Food of Turkey
I have returned from my adventure in Turkey, and I must say, the food there (and my cooking class) was absolutely one of the best things about that country. Especially if you are a vegetarian, as they have amazing vegetable dishes and, at least in the touristy parts, understand when you say you are vegetarian. People didn’t even ask if that meant I ate fish! I ate so many amazing things while I was over there, but unfortunately there are way too many to stick in one post. So here are some of the dishes I had, loved, and remembered to take pictures of. Also – the Turks love cheese, which made me love the food even more.
This comes first because it was so freaking amazing and one of my favorite things there – I had it an an Ottoman restaurant (aka making ottoman-era food, mostly from the palace based on historical records). Apparently, they use seven different kinds of cheese and wrap it in filo to make a spiral, and then fry it til golden. They served it with a couple things, including honey, which was perfect with it. I don’t know if I want to attempt to recreate it or not, I’d hate to try and have it not be as awesome as it was there.
Borek is a pretty general term for various pastries in Turkey. I had a few different kinds of boreks while I was over there. One, a cheese and parsley borek, was kinda like a sauce-less lasagna. Soft egg-noodle-esque layers, with cheese mixed with herbs, in between and presumably baked. The other kind I need to learn how to make myself – the are cheese cigar boreks, and its basically cheese wrapped up in a little filo cylinder, and I think fried? Maybe baked, but probably fried. When I make them, they will be baked
So the picture is of the stuffed eggplant I made in my cooking class, but I had it other places too when I was in Turkey, it was very common on menus in Selcuk. The version I had in Selcuk didn’t have mushrooms, it was just tomatoes, onions and various herbs and spices from what I could tell. It, however, was also served with yogurt and a side of rice, and was insanely good too. I think I might just omit the mushrooms when I make this myself. Also, and I did this with most veggie dishes, you can scoop it onto flatbread maybe add a bit of the yogurt, and eat it that way. Eggplant dishes work particularly well when you do this.
Pide is basically Turkish pizza. I made a version pide a while back, and I still make it on occasion. This, however, tasted less healthy and flavorful than what I made, and am used to. That said, it would be an amazing drunk food. The one I had there was a good with beer and I’ve had a couple food (which is the stage of the evening I was in), and would be a bad sober food. At least in my opinion.
Song of the week: The Suffering, by Coheed and Cambria. I’ve been listening too this song a lot lately not sure why. It’s hard rock, with an awesome combination of upbeat and darkness. Hell, maybe my emo teenaged self is just coming to the fore for some reason this week. But its awesome, so you should listen to it. One caveat – this is hard rock, you need to listen to it very loudly for the proper effect.