Tea Chest Tidbits – short posts with lots of delightful photos of our time in Turkey.
Life comes through the food…Turkish Proverb
Food and the sharing of food is such an intricate part of any society but here in Turkey it is so much more. Meals are steeped in tradition, rich from hundreds of years of generations passing on their family recipes, sharing their daily lives over meals void of electronics and other distractions. Meals here are where tables are set, a variety of dishes are placed, food is shared and savoured, friends and family are all welcome and conversations are had. The comfort and friendship this kind of interaction has provided for us while being here has been immeasurable. The memories we will have of Turkey and the amazing people will last us our lifetime and we want to share it all. If you missed my post about the People We Have Met – check it out!
We have been so fortunate to experience some incredible meals, from the traditional Turkish soup Tarhana to fresh fish straight from the pier to the plate – all completely delicious. Finike and Kas are coastal towns so we are blessed with fresh fish and locally grown produce available daily from the markets, fish mongers and butchers. One of our favourite places to eat out here in Finike is a fabulous fish restaurant, Neseli Balik. It is always a lovely experience there with the wait staff being truly delightful. They seat us with a smile and proudly present us with the English version of the menu followed by Turkish Tea while we look over our choices. Traditionally Turkish tea is served at the end of a meal but they know how much I love tea and we are given a bottomless cup throughout our meal, which I love. A basket of freshly sliced bread, share salad and bottles of oils and pomegranate drizzle are delivered to our table as we wait for our starter. Our pick for an entree is a shared dish of shrimps cooked in butter, garlic and spices. It comes piping hot and bubbling in a searing hot cast dish and smells absolutely divine. We scoop the plump tender shrimps out quickly and enjoy them with our salad, while dipping our crusty bread into the buttery garlicky sauce. To be honest we could leave then and be fully satisfied, but where’s the fun in that?! My chap loves the fillets of steamed sea bass, which is presented in a beautiful copper pan with a tomato based sauce that has more than a hint of chilies in it. I absolutely love the sea bass in a creamy dill sauce, the fish is cooked to perfection with just the slightest crust to it and the dill sauce is like nothing I have ever tasted before. Totally delicious experience every time! We always leave feeling completely satisfied without feeling over stuffed – hence the reason we seldom indulge in dessert.
Amazingly we have both lost weight and feel healthier with all of the wonderful fresh produce available to us. Enjoy the visual feast in the images below ♥
You can’t go hungry here in Turkey, the choices and servings are endless! I have discovered a tasty AND healthy brunch option called Menemen. It is a Traditional Turkish dish of scrambled eggs with chilies, peppers and tomatoes with a dash of pepper and spice. It really is a great way to start the day.
Manti is a Turkish Ravioli. Tiny meat filled pasta cooked and served with plain yoghurt, herbs and a spicy oil. We have had several variations of this, some have fresh tomatoes and peppers chopped up and sprinkled over it – either way it is very tasty and very filling!
Tarhana çorbası or soup is a Traditional Turkish recipe handed down through the generations. It is prepared by mixing crumbled dried Tarhana with boiling water, milk, butter and spices and cooking it over a low flame. The dried Tarhana powder is made by mixing yoghurt, flour, and grated vegetables such as red peppers, tomatoes, and onions into a thick paste that is left to ferment over several days. The paste is then divided up, spread out, dried, and then crumbled to make Tarhana powder. It is a lovely textured soup that was very comforting on a cooler evening.
We love seafood and have been spoilt for choice here. Seafood is brought in constantly throughout the day by the local fishing boats, and we are fortunate enough to be able to select whatever we fancy and have it cooked just the way we like it. Neither of us have seen such a wonderful selection.
Cakes and desserts are second to none here, while the Baklava is very sweet and best with a cup of tea the cakes are deliciously light and beautiful. Kunefe, a syrup soaked cheese and wheat dessert is quite something! It is made from yufka dough which is carefully passed through a sieve resulting in long, fine strands called tel kadayıf – surprisingly enjoyable.
Sun drying and preserving foods is very popular here. The dried vegetables are reconstituted by soaking in water and used as you would fresh vegetables in casseroles, soups and pasta dishes. I love seeing them hanging in the markets and outside the houses.
Catch us next time at Tea Chest Tidbits, when we share with you one of the amazing historic sites we have discovered on our journey.
Happy Tea Drinking and Fair Winds ♥
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