When Ramadan arrives, Turkey gets even more obsessed with food. Some people are fasting and at sunset the streets and restaurants are filled with people waiting for the signal that they can finally begin eating. In celebration of the local appreciation, (and sometimes obsession) here are some pictures I've taken celebrating Turkish cuisine.
Typical Turkish Breakfast.
Shared amongst four of us and whoever happened to walk by at the time.
Ciya, my fave restaurant on the Asian side. You'll never guess what this dish is, give up? Meatballs and sour cherries. Was it delicious? Absolutely!
This is a regular salad, spicy ezme, and cacik - which is like a yogurt-mint dip.
(I've just noticed now that they drew a little heart on the ezme with pomegranate molasses! It's upside down in my picture.)
At the same Mardin Restaurant, a huge metal cup of ayran.
Ayran is a frothy salty yogurt drink. This one was so smooth, Mel compared it to ice cream.
Murat Cergis Konagi in Mardin.
This meal changed the way I thought about food.
This is an appetizer plate with ten appetizers, some were as simple as goat cheese and walnuts, others completely complex, each one more delicious that the last.
I bought one of these platters the very next day.
Deep fried donuts being sold at the Ramadan Market in Sultanahmet.
You can see them cooking in the background.
Tulumbasi are like Spanish churros, but soaked in teeth-achingly-sweet honey.
The sign above touts them as a famous Ottoman dessert.
And below is the world-famous Gaziantep baklava.
Trust me, Mel and I went to great lengths to ensure we tested a range of baklava while in Gaziantep, so we could say it was the "best" with journalistic integrity.
It's the best.