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Yufka is a round and very thin sheets of unleavened flour dough. It is used to make Turkish flatbread and pastries, and has been considered as one of the most important food items in the Turkish as well as in the Balkan and Middle Eastern cuisines. Some say that yufka may have been the earlier form of phyllo/filo dough. More specifically, Turkish yufka is usually made from wheat flour mixed with a little salt and water to form a dough. To make yufka, the dough should be made to rest for just about half an hour or so after it is kneaded and rolled into large paper-thin round sheets (very similar to lavas) by using an oklava, a long roller used to make yufka. After the large thin sheets of dough are done, they should be heated or baked on both sides for just about 2-3 minutes on a hot saç until they get a slightly brown color. The saç is a round shaped hot iron plate commonly used in Turkey for making yufka and flatbread.
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.
Kofta Kebab-(İnegöl Köftesi) is grilled meatballs (köfte) specific to İnegöl, Bursa, Turkey. It was created by Balkans people, a Turkish immigrant who came from Balkans to İnegöl in the late 19th century. It is Turkish style halal meatballs. This is the long format of the meatball, not the patty, is pleasantly springy, aromatic and juicy.