Thanksgiving Turkey

Mosque through doorway TurkeyIt’s Thanksgiving in Canada and while most Canadians are at home enjoying a turkey dinner with all the trimmings, I’m stuck at work on a night shift. There are a lot of benefits to working shift work, but this weekend – my favourite holiday weekend – work feels more like a punishment rather than a way to earn a living. So in between 911 calls, I’ve brought in my scrapbook of my holiday in Turkey to browse through. I figure while everyone else dines on turkey, I will remember dining in Turkey.

It’s Thanksgiving in Canada and while most Canadians are at home enjoying a turkey dinner with all the trimmings, I’m stuck at work on a night shift. There are a lot of benefits to working shift work, but this weekend – my favourite holiday weekend – work feels more like a punishment rather than a way to earn a living. So in between 911 calls, I’ve brought in my scrapbook of my holiday in Turkey to browse through. I figure while everyone else dines on turkey, I will remember dining in Turkey.

 

My Perfect Food Day in Turkey

 

Breakfast – Bonjour Pensiyon in Ayvalik. Ayvalik is a seaside town on the northwest coast of Turkey. As part of an Intrepid tour, we stayed a couple of nights at this quaint guest house. Breakfast was included as part of our stay and was a wonderful start to our day. Homemade apple cake, fresh bread, homemade jam, lots of different kinds of cheese and fresh omelette’s. Seriously high on the yum factor.

 

Lunch – Galata Bridge, Istanbul. The Galata bridge that crosses over the Golden Horn is full of trendy restaurants and shops. The local specialty is the fish sandwich, made with fresh mackeral that one of the hundreds of fishermen on top of the bridge caught that day. It’s not so much the fish sandwich that makes this my perfect Turkish lunch, but sitting on the waterfront, a perfect spot for people watching, and enjoying a freshly caught meal makes this my favourite lunch by far.

Galata Bridge Istanbul Turkey

Somewhere under the Galata Bridge  Istanbul Turkey

Afternoon Tea – Egyptian Spice Market, Istanbul. One of Turkey’s largest bazaars, I’d love to wander through the shops enjoying the samples of dried apricots, figs, pistachios and a seemingly endless cups of apple tea. Apple tea has a subtle and refreshing flavour and was offered in almost every shop and restaurant I visited. The apple tea powder that you can buy to make at home is available in a lot of the tourists shops, but did not compare with most apple tea I had while travelling.

Egyptian Spice Market Istanbul Turkey

Spice Market  Istanbul Turkey

Dinner – Seytan Sofrasi (Devil’s Banquet) near Ayvalik. A romantic, picturesque hill where you can watch the sunset over the surrounding islands. The wine, meal and dessert would all have to be imported, but I never said this perfect food tour would be physically possible.

Seytan Sofrasi Turkey

Seytan Sofrasi  Turkey

If you visit Sirince, a small Greek village located close to Ephesus, the area is well known for their fruit wines. Lots of fruits are grown locally, including apricots, plums, and, grapes and they all are turned into delicious wines perfect for hot summer days. I’d start with a glass (maybe bottle) of the apricot wine.

 

Wanting to save room for my main course, my perfect appetizer would be a small bowl of olives. Turkey is internationally known for their olive groves, and it wasn’t until I toured an olive factory just outside of Ayvalik that I truly appreciated the intense salty flaovur of the locally grown olives.

Ozgun Olive Factory Ayvalik Turkey

Ozgun Olive Factory  Ayvalik Turkey

My main course would have to be one of the BEST foods I have ever tried: Manti. Why this sinfully delicious dish has not made it mainstream, I have no idea…but when I got home, I actively searched out Turkish restaurants that served this Istanbul regional specialty. Manti is made of a spiced meat mixture, usually lamb or ground beef wrapped in dough. These dumplings are then steamed, then topped with yogurt with crushed garlic and melted butter covered with red pepper powder. Only about a billion calories, probably mostly from fat, this meal is both insanely satisfying and super filling. So rich with flavour, manti isn’t something I could have every day, but is a wonderful treat reserved for special occasions.

mantiManti

Dessert is an easy choice – Turkish Delight. Turkish Delight, also known as Lokum, is a gel like candy cut into small cubes, usually flavoured with rosewater and lemon and dusted with icing sugar. Not overly sweet, it would be an ideal finish to my day of Turkish (without the Thanksgiving turkey) dining.

turkish delight

Turkish Delight

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