Don’t Leave Istanbul Without Tasting These Flavors! Part 2
We will continue our Part 2 of previous Flavors article.
Blue Eyed-Boy of the Traditional Turkish Delights: Baklava
Baklava is the unique and essential dessert of religious festivals and iftar offerings. First, you need to knead the dough till it gets a stiffness. Then you make little macarons or puffs and roll them open with a rolling pin or wringer. Then you have to line them to the tray one by one. Between these lines, you can add chestnut or peanut or sesame according to your delight and flavors you want to taste. Then, you put the tray into the oven and wait until the baklava get its golden yellow color. Then you are free to eat this delicious dessert after a brief water and sugar mix pouring into them.
In many places, they serve this traditional delight with ice cream or cream on them.
A Flavor One of a Kind: Almond Paste
Almond Paste is one of the traditional flavors which dates back to the Ottoman Empire’s first eras. It was spread from the Ottoman Empire Palace within the Edirne, the first capital of the Empire. Almond Paste is made from the kernel of an almond, sugar, and eggs. It can take shape easily because of its soft form.
Among many uses, there are many patisseries that are using Almond Paste in order to give shape to their cakes and confectioneries. First, you boil the kernel of an almond and then strip its shell and beat it till it gets a powder form. Afterward, they mix it with a sherbet. You can get many different aromas and flavors by adding different ingredients to almond paste while kneading its dough. From times to times, you can see coco powder on almond paste too.
You can find a variety of almond pastes at Bebek Badem Ezmecisi, which is seen by many experts as the best place for almond pastes.
Foamy Turkish Coffee
Before talking about the graces of drinking a Turkish coffee, let’s talk about how did the coffee plant reached to the Turks and became a traditional drink. The coffee plant which reached to the Arabian Peninsula from Ethiopia, first used at the Mocha city of Yemen by drinking the coffee water. Turks are the first one to drink it with roasting it. Turkish Coffee which obtained from roasting the Arabica, which is really good and of high quality coffee seed, has became its new form by many years of experience and usage.
You need to cook the Turkish Coffee in a special coffee pot which is called ”cezve.” It is told that the most delicious Turkish Coffee is cooked within a copper cezve. But you can get differen flavors with different styles. Among the details to be given importance during your coffee cooking time, there is the one that you have to put parallel cold water to the drinkers of the coffee with a help from a coffee cup. You need to cook the coffee on a low heat and after you finish this process you need to share the foam in the cezve equally to these cups. Turkish Coffee which has a significant flavor should be served with Turkish delight and water.
Bright Red Turkish Tea In a Thin Glass
History of tea dates back to the 15th Century China. During that time, Chinese used to boil leaves of the tea plant in a hot water. After the 17th century, tea was started to be consumed vaguely among Europe. The date for the teas arrival to Turkey goes as far as to the 19th century and it is still among the most popular drinks for the Turkish people. Tea is currently the most popular breakfast drink in the country and Turkey is also among the biggest tea consumers in the World. Tea is the most consumed drink after the water in all of the areas of Turkey.
Just like every country has their own tea brewing and serving method, Turkey has one of those too. Teapot which is consists of two separate parts served in a thin glass or ”ince bellli” glass with Turkish definition in order to drink it hot. Tea-urn is also one of the most prominent items and icons of Turkish tea culture and cuisine. It dates back to the earliest day of Ottoman Empire.
The most important detail of Turkish style tea is its brewing. First, you put some water on the bottom part of the teapot. After this water boils and you can see the vapor, you put tea on the upper part and add the boiled water from the bottom part. Afterward, you leave it for the extra brewing at the low heat.
A Sweet Journey: Sherbet
Apricot, cherry, plum, orange and many other fruits are among the foods that can be made into a sherbet. Sherbet is a traditional drink which dates back to the Ottoman Empire. Even though it is not as commonly used as the Ottoman Empire days, it was one of the most prominent drinks of the Empire and houses back in the date. Sherbet is made with a sugary water or honey, after adding these foods. In old days, you could even find fresh sherbet types stored in glass containers on the famous restaurants and shops.
Today, it can be offered as a drink to the important guests and can be consumed beside the food. It is one of the oldest and most traditional samples of Turkish Cuisine. It is a tradition to offer sherbet during visits after a birth and affiance.
Hookah or Nargile
Hookah or the Nargile with the traditional name is one of the most attractive things for tourists in Turkey. Nargile word comes from the ”nargil” in Farsi. Nargile, which has an important place in the East Culture, comes to the Ottoman Empire in the 16th century. Hookah or Nargile was a unique and essential item of conversations during the Ottoman era. Nargile is still doing its mission to gather people around.
So, how are you going the taste this flavor and where? Of course at the hookah cafes where you can find in many areas of Istanbul. Especially Tophane, Çemberlitaş, Beyoğlu, and Kadıköy are the best places for quality hooka. Nargile consists of ”marpuç” or the hookah tube from which you inhale the smoke, ”lüle” or the pipe the bottom part in which you put the tobacco and tray with a windshield. Besides, for hygienic conditions, they will give you a ”sipsi” or reed which you put to the hookah pipe. You can have a little rest at the hookah cafes located in Sultanahmet, Tophane or Çemberlitaş and have an apple hookah, which will make you forget all your troubles.