I love food, which is why I love Turkey so very much. There is something special about a dish that has been thoughtfully prepared with you, the eater, in mind. Even fast food on the streets are not unfrozen, deep-fried and shoved into a paper bag. Döner is prepared carefully so that every juicy piece of food fits perfectly into fresh bread. Wraps with pomegranate juice, bulgur, fresh parsley and lettuce have that tangy, spice that even Taco Bell can’t even compete with! Yet my favorite meals here are the ones that give me options: mezes. Beautiful, exotic and wonderfully delicious appetizers with your every taste bud in mind.
The meze is usually served with fresh baked flat bread called pide. Eggplant dishes served hot and cold are very popular among the meze options, but I have seen some pretty different ones as well. A delicacy here is…brains! Yes, cow brains served cold is another meze! If and when I try it, I will let you know what I think. Another great meze that you can also find at home is hummus. I have to say, there is something so wonderful about the hummus here and I think it is the olive oil. Olive oil is native to this part of the world and used in almost every dish. Even desserts! Grape leaves with rice and spices are another favorite of mine. They have a unique flavor that is sweet, but not too sweet and crunchy, but not too crunchy. I like to think of it as a Mediterranean sushi roll! Have any of you ever tried Mediterranean food? Fish, olive oil, hummus and baklava are my suggestions. Who knew great tasting food could really be good for you too?
Grape leaves stuffed with rice and herbs, then soaked in olive oil.
So nervous! It looks a little like sea-weed.
The grape leaves are dried, then soaked in olive oil. Rice, herbs, spices and sometimes minced meat are rolled up inside of the leaves and soak in the moisture.
Very much so! The grape leaves are grown in the eastern part of the country and used in almost every meal. It is a traditional meze or appetizer seen in restaurants, kitches and grocery stores.