I once created a cooking class, called 'Zen in the Kitchen'. Then wrote a book called the same. Then started the group with that name and the blog came after. All this happened in Turkish. Now is the time for the English version of it. Let's see what will cook here!
Saturday, January 07, 2006
A day in Istanbul
Here is the second post for my English site. I decided to use that picture since I wanted to show the beauties of Istanbul while I’m telling about the tasty stuff from the city. Kiz Kulesi (Maiden's Tower) is one of the monuments that you see when you cross the Bosphorus by boat. I took this picture yesterday while I was on the boat from Besiktas to Kadikoy. The goal was to visit a wonderful restaurant called Çiya (http://www.ciya.com.tr/) to meet the chef and the owner of the restaurant, Musa Dagdeviren. He was at the CIA’s (Culinary Institute of America in California) yearly festival last November where he introduced special (and some of it is long forgotten) tastes of Turkey. For more information you can download the pdf document of the ‘Ancient Fires, World Flavors & the Future of American Cooking (http://www.prochef.com/WOF2005/pdf/WOF2005a.pdf) which Musa attended. Each time I go there, there is always something new for me. This time I had a stuffed zucchini dish called ‘kündür dolmasi’ and a sweet called ‘belluriye’.
The sweet is like kadayif but the difference is that the dough includes milk instead of water and the cooking method of the sweet is different. I definitely like this better than the regular kadayif since it is lighter than it.
Kündür dolmasi is made with an onion-potato stuffing and was delicious. My all time favorites at the restaurant are felafel and ‘fellah köftesi’ (bulghur balls) which I had a little bit again this time.
My next stop was Baylan Pastanesi which is an old brand of Istanbul. The owner of the patisserie, Harry Lenas is 74 years old now and he’s the one who brought so many new tastes to the sweetlovers of Istanbul. His ‘kup griye’ is very famous but I had the vermicelles yesterday and tasted several of his special chocolates. You can get more information from the website of the patisserie: www.baylanpastanesi.com
I had to run to catch the 16:45 boat to Besiktas after leaving the patisserie shop, so I ran. The sky was beautiful with purplish stripes. Kiz kulesi looked even more beautiful at this light. So did the Topkapi Palace. I was happy, with so many reasons. I had a box of delicious chocolates from Baylan Pastanesi, the gift of Mr. Lenas; mulberry pestil with nuts, dates and walnuts from my favorite shop, Brezilya Kurukahvecisi. I was full and refilled. So comes the end of this post with a saying by Mevlana. You’ll see more of these sayings. Please feel free to ask your questions about Turkey, Istanbul and the tastes of the country. I’ll be happy to help you if I can:
The cook must be aware of the nature of the transformation of the coarse material of food into a finer state. In cooking the elements are marshaled to act upon the mineral, vegetable and animal kingdoms, maximizing their potential for human nourishment, for He changes every substance into Soul.