+91 96638 64444
+91 96638 64444
Tea-time in Turkey
Sunday, May 13th, 2012

By Sudha Mathew

The first time I ate breakfast in Turkey I knew that this could be the healthiest country I’ve ever visited. And nothing has happened after that to change my mind. My husband and I had landed in Cappadocia after a twenty-hour journey that started in Bangalore and ended in Goreme. I had no expectations after an indifferent dinner the previous night.  But breakfast was an eye-opener.

We were staying at a cave hotel that was keen on showcasing their traditional breakfast and made no adjustment for foreign travelers. It took me a while to mentally adjust to a mostly raw meal. But after I put a piece of beyaz peynir cheese in my mouth, relief and joy warred within me. Joy won, of course. It quickly moved up a few notches to ecstasy after tasting the farm-fresh honey, yoghurt, cucumbers, tomatoes and two types of olives. By the time this gustatory revelation ended with a seductively curved glass of tea, I was sold on Turkish food. And this was only the first morning!

As we traveled and ate our way through Turkey, it struck me that their way of life and their food nurtured each other.  Though it straddles Europe and Asia, Turkey is closer to the latter when it comes to family. Everywhere we went, we saw children out with parents and grandparents. There are no special menus at restaurants and children eat the same food as the parents. So keeping it healthy yet tasty is an important concern not just in homes but also in restaurants.

Another facet that intrigued me is the extensive use of yoghurt. In India, yoghurt is acknowledged in Ayurveda as a cooling ingredient and to balance the use of spices. Turkey takes it to a higher level by using it in meat dishes, fried vegetable dishes and in meze. In fact, the word yoghurt itself is derived from the Turkish word “yogurt”.

Many tourists stop with the well-known Turkish doner kebap and that’s a pity as the variety and quality of their kebaps is second to none. A common thread through our meals was the simple cooking techniques and minimal use of spice and oil. This was possible because of the outstanding quality of produce be it the simple tomato-cucumber salad that accompanied all meals or the meat in kebaps and koftes. Each meal reflects Turkey’s pride in its food self-sufficiency.

On our last evening in Istanbul, we ended up at a meyhane, a wonderfully evocative name for a bar. The experience reiterated the friendliness that we had experienced everywhere. Copious amounts of alcohol and cheek by jowl seating are usually not a recommended combination except in Turkey where it only enhances the bonhomie.

A lasting image is the hourglass shaped cup of tea that is mandatory no matter if you are meeting someone for the first time or an old friend. Food is designed to nurture both body and soul in Turkey.

Afiyet Olsun!

Sudha


Related Posts:



Plan to travel to an Indian holiday destination?

We are here to help. At no extra cost.
  • Tailor made holidays
  • Special interest holidays
  • Hidden luxury getaways
Know more


Posted by Sudha at 7:30 pm
8 comments
    Comments ( 8 8)
  • Bhumika's Boudoir

    May 14, 2012

    What a lovely piece. You make me want to pack my bags and head there right now. Not such a bad plan for a Monday morning. ;-) Well-done, Sudha. And thank you.

  • sudha

    May 14, 2012

    Thank you, Bhumika! Appreciate that. And let me know if you’re packing your bags, I’ll come along :)

  • Mandar

    May 14, 2012

    I will enjoy doing this all over again :-)

  • Reena Alex

    May 14, 2012

    I love this,cant wait to visit Turkey!

  • Rahul

    May 15, 2012

    That’s the kind of blogpost I like to read ;-) . Did you know before going there that what we know as Paneer probably came from outside? Shows you how much the world has always been connected.
    In many respects this reminds me of typical breakfast in Iran which used to be Paneer-raw along with a crisp hard barbari bread, honey and preserves and tea dripped through sugar cubes!!! Another country we need to travel more to :-)

  • sudha

    May 15, 2012

    Agree that the world was always connected. One of my fave things to do in Turkey was to recognise the similar words to Urdu. There were so many! Iran sounds exotic and I’d love to go someday. Hey you have gone to a lot of places that are off the beaten track. We need to do a travel chat over a cup of tea someday.

  • Suzy

    December 31, 2012

    I would love to visit Turkey one day. The food looks and sounds delicious!

  • sudha

    December 31, 2012

    Thanks for your feedback Suzy. You must visit it as soon as you can. Great food, lovely people and more history and gorgeous monuments than you can absorb in one visit.

All the info you need to plan a monsoon holiday in one post

Tuesday, July 4th, 2017

This is the time India goes green. As the monsoon makes a grand entry in God's own country, Kerala and makes it way in... Read more...

Ladakh can take your breath away. Expert tips for acclimatisation.

Friday, May 5th, 2017

Traveling in summer? In India? There’s this famous misconception that one should travel in India only in the winter months. But summer ... Read more...


Subscribe via email

Enter your email address:


Delivered by FeedBurner


Related Posts:



Plan to travel to an Indian holiday destination?

We are here to help. At no extra cost.
  • Tailor made holidays
  • Special interest holidays
  • Hidden luxury getaways
Know more


About me

The wise man travels to discover himself - JR Lowell

 

My name is Sudha Mathew. I'm an ex-banker who quit the rat race after a decade to follow my passion for travel and to combine it with my experience in understanding client requirements and exceeding their expectations.

 

While our content is mostly about the holiday experience, the accommodation and services, there's so much more to a journey. I have discovered a whole new me through travel. So I've reserved this corner of the website to share the unexpected aspects of travel. This space is also to hear from you about your journeys and discoveries. Bon Voyage!

 
Recent Posts

Categories

Blog archive
clss
Feedback
Name
Email
Comment
submitButton
Thank you for your feedback. We appreciate it.
Close-HERE
List your property with seek&hide
First Name
Last Name
Email
Telephone
Your Message
SUBMIT
Close-HERE
Your Enquiry
First Name*
Last Name*
Email*
Telephone*
How can we help you today?*


All fields marked with * are mandatory.