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When exploring the streets of Istanbul, there is never a dull moment. Whether you are hearing the call to prayer from the gorgeous mosques that dot the city skyline, a simitci (Turkish bagel vendor) calling you to his cart, the horns of a ferry announcing its arrival at the docks of the Bosphorus, or the honking taxi warning pedestrians to pick up the pace, your heart will be racing with excitement. And the smells, oh the smells! Perhaps the most iconic among them– the tantalizing aroma of döner kebap (doner kebab). As the combinations of lamb, beef, and chicken turn on their spits over open flames, you may find your mouth watering. Watching. Waiting patiently for the dönerci to shave thin slices of juicy meat into lavash, top with lettuce, tomato, onion, cucumber, generous squeezes of lemon, and sprinkle with sumac before handing it over to you with a smile.
Pastırma is a form of Turkish cured meat with exceptional flavor, a delicate texture, and a lingering taste. The predecessor to the Italian pastrami, this delicacy originated before the Byzantine times, in the East of Turkey in the town of Kayseri where it is still produced today. The story of its invention has to do with meat being pressed, bastırmak in Turkish, by the legs of horsemen as they rode with sides of meat hanging from their saddles. Today, shanks of beef are cut from domestically grown beef, and dry cured in the fresh air for a couple days. Next, the meat is covered in a paste called çemen, which is made from garlic, fenugreek seeds, and red peppers, and left to cure for another couple days. Connoisseurs will tell you that if your pastirma is cut with a machine, as opposed to a hand knife, it is inferior. Believe what you will.
Kanafeh is a traditional Middle Eastern dessert made with shredded filo pastry, or alternatively fine semolina dough, soaked in sweet, sugar-based syrup, and typically layered with cheese, or with other ingredients such as clotted cream or nuts, depending on the region.
With a formula that has been guarded as a secret within the family for four generations, the Legendary Uludağ Gazoz with assorted fruit flavoring is produced from Uludağ water and granulated sugar derived from sugar beet. One of the most important qualities of the Legendary Uludağ Gazoz is its renowned bottle that has stood the test of time.