Looking back over my posts I’ve noticed that apart from one or two specific pieces, I have written very little about Turkish food. This certainly isn’t because I don’t like it! On the contrary I love it, and am known to trek far and wide in search of the best lamb buryan kebab, the finest slices of iskender, or the most tantalising chicken breast pudding. Most likely I haven’t written anything because I am too busy eating, as anyone who’s tasted good Turkish food would understand. To makes amends for this oversight, I offer this tribute to Turkish food (with apologies in advance to composer Richard Rogers and lyricist Oscar Hammerstein II).
Small kofte parcels, made from raw mince meat,
Pide with thick cheese and juicy fat sausage,
Packets of borek brought fresh to my door
I have my favourites, but there are more
Sahlep with cinnamon, boza with chickpeas
Ferry horns, trambells and meatballs with pickles
Bright copper glasses with frothy fresh ayran
I have my favourites, come on and try one
Boys in bright satin, with caps sporting nazar
Coffee that stays on my mind and my taste buds
Turkish delight of assorted sweet flavour
I have my favourites, you’ll find one to savour
When the dog barks, when the caravan leaves
When I’m feeling sad
I simply remember my favourite things
And then I don’t feel so bad
For more of my favourite things about living in Turkey, check out the new edition of my book Inside Out In Istanbul: Making Sense of the City.
And if the above verses aren’t enough, here’s one more.
Cream coloured sutlaç pudding of white rice
Raindrops on cypresses, turbans on tombstones
Owls on the Bosphorus that hoot at the moon
Taste all my favourites, I promise you’ll swoon
Next time you’re tucking in to your favourite Turkish food, why not see if you can come up with a verse of your own?