Results tagged “pekmez”

Turkey II: Syria (nearly) to Greece

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Smmountainpass0001.JPGAfter our epic journey to Erzurum, we had a very long day's drive ahead of us to get to Mardin and the south-east.  Partly because it's quite a long way; partly because we took quite a roundabout route.  But also because as well as getting stopped by the police as usual, we started getting stopped by the army.  This is PKK country: villages have military watchtowers, and roads have frequent checkpoints.  (Perhaps a bit like Northern Ireland in the 1970s, but with more kebabs.) There's a fair amount of traffic, though, so you'd have thought they'd have seen someone like Anna driving a Land Rover before, but apparently not: once the first soldier saw who was at the wheel, he immediately called the rest of the squad over for a laugh.

But it was definitely worth the drive.  Not only was the south-east probably the highlight of the trip (although it's a close call), we went on from that to see the centre and the coast in ways that most tourists don't get to do - mostly because of the people we met.

So read on for stories of underground ovens, underwater cities, pizzas as long as Anna is tall, and ice cream you eat with a knife and fork.

Getting fruity

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Smcandiedfig0001.JPGA good Turkish meal ends with fresh fruit, often artfully presented in slices and wedges on the plate.  You might get kiwis, strawberries, oranges, apples or any number of stone fruit when in season.  But apart from this occasional appearance, fresh fruit is surprisingly hard to find.  I could suppose that this is due to the long history and widespread custom of preserving fruit so it can be enjoyed all year, a taste for which the sweet-toothed Turks maintain to this day in cities and villages alike.

It's sweet in Turkey

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Smplatelokum0001.JPGDrinking tea all day has contributed towards to the sweet tooth I seem to have developed in Turkey, as the little glass is always served with two sugar lumps on the side.  (Except in the Southeast, where you usually get three - Southeasterners liking their foods generally spicier, sweeter and tangier than their equivalents in the rest of the country.)  Sugar is found in large doses in many of the Turks’ favourite foods...

From tree to treacle

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Smbarnabycarobtree0001.jpgToday Barnaby got rather over-excited when he came across a carob tree growing among the castle ruins in the little village of Kaleköy on Turkey's Mediterranean coast.

Ever since Barnaby first tasted the deeply fruity and complex treacle-y molasses called pekmez (at Zeliş Farmhouse), he has been a bit obsessed by it.  (He gets like that sometimes).  He has sampled it in grape, mulberry, apple, sugar beet and fig varieties (all delicious), but his clear favourite is the carob kind.  So when he found carob growing wild all over the place in Kaleköy, he couldn't help but investigate...
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