local ingredients

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Offal minds in Istanbul

Offal, you either love it or hate it. I love it. Every piece of it, sweetbreads, brain, liver, intestines, heart, testicles, tripe, trotter… When growing up I had the best of offal on my table; lamb brain salad with olive oil, lemon and parsley, pan grilled ram’s testicles, thick slices…

making of pide, Pideban, by Tuba Şatana

Pideban, Butter and Old Radios

They all ordered kıymalı pide and a big jug of ayran, 5 workers in uniforms… Fortunately we had arrived before them and ordered our share of pide. With each order you may hear Sami Usta pounding on the dough in the kitchen… One young waiter was cleaning the windows with newspaper,…

köy tavuk budu, fındık taratorlu nohut, Yeni Lokanta, tuba şatana

Yeni Lokanta, Chef Civan Er’s
new playground!

We were in need of good food and a bottle of wine, we did not have a reservation but lucky enough we got a table. By the time we settled down, the place gave us a sense of relief. We were at Yeni Lokanta, Civan Er’s new restaurant. The restaurant itself consists…

Organic tomatoes, Istanbul Food, Tuba Şatana

Here come the tomatoes!

Finally the tomato season kicked off! All I want to eat is tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and olive oil! An easy task, after visiting the organic market held at Göztepe Özgürlük Parkı on Wednesdays, I got the first heirloom tomatoes of the season. All from Nar Çiftliği, from farm to table,…

Sarma kokoreç with orzo…

One great surprise today was the kuzu sarma I came across at Çiya… It was the first of the season, cooked with orzo, it was a true delicacy!  And have to admit it was one of the best things I had at Çiya for a long time. Ordered one portion and did…

to the pazar we go

The colorful Göztepe Pazarı

Pazar changes its color like seasons. Fruits, flowers, vegetables even the stalls selling homemade produce change… spring is one of the liveliest times and as the summer approaches, I was not surprised to see the heap of clothing switched to heap of sun bathing suits, shorts, t-shirts… Some may be taken by…

My neighbourhood hero – winter version

The good cooks/housewives/chefs/food enthusiasts… you name, all have one thing in common, they/we have our pumpkin/artichoke sellers in our neighbourhoods. We trust them, we wait for them while they are on vacation, do not betray them with other sellers.  We know their locations, their schedules, where they are from, what…

tuzda hamsi, Kantin

A world around hamsi

Hamsi may not be the king of fishes or the fish king itself for most of us, but Karadenizliler  -locals of Black Sea region- have an emotional attachment to hamsi. It is more than a fish, but a life culture there. Even when you ask a Karadenizli about another fish,…