Eat & Drink
Originally published on Friday, 13th November 2009
Eating Istanbul in 21 Days: Street Food
Istanbul is a city of street food. You can scarcely walk for tripping over vendors’ carts while lopsided trucks trundle the streets selling mackerel sandwiches, roasted chickpeas and chewy Turkish ice cream. Nearly every street has a wood-fired oven selling oval-shaped, bubbling pides and flatbreads spread with spicy lamb or sweetened tahini to take away.
Here’s an overview of some of the best and tastiest street food snacks to watch out for:
A thin crisp, pizza-like dough topped with a spicy lamb mixture and eaten rolled up with a squeeze of lemon, a freshly baked lahmacun is one of the tastiest things you can eat. At lunchtime in Istanbul you can scarcely see a taxi driver without one - usually alternating between mouthfuls of lahmacun and long drags of pungent Turkish cigarettes.
Every street has its local 'pide salonu' where the dough master rolls and shapes mouthwatering oval-shaped pide breads and fills them with lamb, sujuk (a spicy Turkish sausage), cheese and eggs and expertly slides then straight onto the stone oven floor with a scorched wooden paddle. Cut into slices, these are the perfect snack to take to the beach. Watch for the crafty Turkish women who bring their own fillings and get a stack of several dozen pide baked for their Sunday family picnics.
Either shaped into spirals or baked as flatbreads, nothing is more delicious than these flaky treats spread with layers of tahini, yoghurt and sugar and baked until bubbling.
More Eating Istanbul in 21 Days:
Jennifer Klinec from Eat Drink Talk has kindly agreed to provide Urban Junkies readers with mouthwatering recipes and foodtips.
To learn more, classes at Eat Drink Talk are held in Jennifer's beautiful loft in Clerkenwell, packed with information and useful tips, and you'll get to sample all of the delicious dishes prepared during class.