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Doner Kebab Please …

November 15, 2011 by Chelsea Slone

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Istanbul is a city with a buzz. With it’s European, Middle Eastern, and Asian influences this city has a unique vibe unlike anywhere we have been before. Whether your visiting the famous Blue Mosque or wondering aimously through the bazzar your constantly witnessing the many personalities of Istanbul.

Visiting The Bazzar in Old City was one of my favorite things we did while we were there. This huge market place filled with vendors selling everything from Turkish rugs and decrotive silk pillowcases to every kind of Turkish delight you could imagine. After spending almost two months in France where people are very standoffish it was a whirlwind walking into this huge Bazzar where the bargaining began at the door whether you wanted to buy anything or not. It almost felt like we were back in India.

The spice market…. It was the ultimate chaotic exciting experience. Buckets and barrels of spices and olives, bins of their popular apple tea and every kind of tea you could imagine, and of coure tons of Turkish delights. My key to finding the best shops are to watch where the locals buy and we definitely found a coffee hot spot this way and I’m anxious to hear from my MeMe how she liked it when she got back home.

While we were in Old City we also visited the Sultan Ahmed Mosque commonly known as the Blue Mosque for the blue tiles adorning the interior walls. It is the largest mosque in Turkey and the capital of the Ottoman Empire and the beauty of it has made the mosque a popular tourist attraction today. Pope Benedict visited this mosque which marked only the second papal visit in history to a Muslim place of worship.

Turkish cuisine is very unique. It combines Mediterranean, Central Asian, Caucasian, and Arabic influences, and is extremely rich. They also use an abundance of spices. The most well known and popular Turkish dish is the kebab. While a traditional kebab plate of spiced meat can be found anywhere from a local cafe to a fine dining experience but a donner kebab is a quick popular pita bread sandwich filled with spiced meat and veggies. After traveling around Europe for a while, I have found a donna kebab is European fast food. Desert is another popular Turkish dish. They have the sweet and nutty baklava and their Turkish delights which gummy confection of rosewater and sugar.

Istanbul is lively city and a fun place to explore. The mixture of all the cultural influences makes it a very unique place to spend time in. Now we’re off to a place we’ve being looking forward to for a very long time, Israel… See ya there!


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