October 24, 2013 § Leave a comment
The Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, Turkey is a maze of endless shops selling handbags, leather, clothing, household goods, gold and of course spices. My friends and I walked into this shop and was greeted by a friendly gentleman who took his time and explained the various spices to us. He was a great salesman and both my friend and I bought a full bag of spices, tea, dried fruit and turkish delight. My purchases came to $50.
The spices were so fresh and I found the Indian spices to be of better quality that what I buy at home. I purchased a mild chill powder from the several that they had for sale and turkish saffron. I also bought a few types of herbal and fruit tea that was essentially dried turkish fruit.
I was prompted to try a sample of Turkish delight even though I originally refused because I normally don’t like it. I was so amazed at how delicate and intricate the flavours were and ended up buying a couple pieces of each flavour.
Ramazan shop is located at Terziler Sok, No.22 Kapalicars, Beyazit – IST, Turkey in the Grand Bazaar. Tel: 0212 511 82 18, http://www.ramazancanbaz.com.
October 24, 2013 § Leave a comment
It was my first time in Turkey and I loved it. People were so friendly and the architecture was amazing. My first stop was Istanbul and I was blown away. The beauty of the city was so majestic and created a fairy tale like back drop. We got off the ship and headed straight to the famous Grand Bazaar for some shopping.
But, first I had to try Turkish coffee and found a shop and sat down. The coffee was served in this cute cup and I took small sips of the strong coffee. I’ve had turkish coffee before but not like this. About fifty percent was coffee grinds. It didn’t take many sips until I reached the top of the grinds which is when I decided to stop drinking. It was a bit too much for my taste and I prefer their apple tea which tastes similar to apple cider.
All the walking and shopping in the bazaar got my appetite going. My friends were too busy to take a break so I left for half an hour to grab a quick bite to eat. I found a place that was full of locals on their lunch break and took a seat. Fortunately, the menus have photos and I pointed at a few things and ordered some vegetarian food.
I’ve noticed that the Turkish get confused when you order off the menu and way too much food arrived. I tried to ask them to make a plate that contained all the items that I wanted but instead they brought me all the items separately. It was enough food for three.
I started by trying the salad that had a lemon juice and olive oil dressing with a turkish spice that was amazing. Next I tried the white eggplant salad which was fire roasted and lightly marinated. It was delicious with the flatbread that was cooked in the wood fire oven.
I was so happy and still had a side of tomato rice and yogurt. The meal was so delicious and it cost under seven euros or $10. I was so full from eating that I did not know how I was going to go back to shopping.
Later that evening, I met up with friends to take advantage of the one overnight stop. We decided to hit the strip in Istanbul and get our dancing shoes on. We went into a bar and ordered drinks. I was so excited when it came with a plate of nibbles. The apples were so crisp and flavourful that I could not believe it. The popcorn was so addicting and only made me thirstier. I have to say, the fruit platter was a nice touch and surprisingly went perfectly with beer at the end of a hot day.
After a night of dancing I had worked up another appetite. I figured that my usual pizza or poutine was out of the question and was on a search for a vegetarian option. The only thing that I found was a baked potato. I topped it up with all kinds of ingredients like beets, olives, pickles, corn and sour cream. It ended up being the best baked potato that I’ve ever had in my life. When I tell people about that night in Istanbul, it always ends with the story about the baked potato.