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A Memorable Ramen Encounter


On a cold winter evening in Kyoto, I coincidentally found a minuscule ramen shop concealed in a tranquil rear entryway. Sitting at the counter, I watched the talented culinary specialist fastidiously... Read more

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The art of breakfast in Istanbul Submitted by: clairet
Istanbul, Istanbul, Turkey

They say that Istanbul is where the eastern world meets the West, but as I tucked into my first Turkish breakfast at a table set up on a bustling pavement in the city's old quarter, the scene was pure old Europe, and a delight because of it. We sat next to a group of old men playing backgammon and exchanging the latest gossip. One fetched us the first in a series of cups of Turkish tea - served without milk in a glass beaker, and along with a pot of wrapped sugar cubes, dipped into regularly by my sweet-toothed companion. Then came the ubiquitous basket of sliced bread, and the Turkish breakfast plate: olives of black and green, sliced cucumber and tomatoes, a hard boiled egg and a cucumber yoghurt relish made a healthy counterpart to the cheese selection - one lump of deliciously salty soft cheese, a slice of mature semi-soft, and a milky, runny curd mixed with honey. We attacked the plate as Istanbul's hipsters began to fill the Sunday streets of this gentrifying neighborhood filled with quirky bric a brac and antique stores. The best of our meal was yet to come. Menemen, the dish that makes an art of eggs, arrived, a swirling spicy mix of eggs scrambled in oil alongside chopped tomatoes and jalapeno peppers, ripe for dipping with a hunk of our patient bread. I was always told that one should breakfast like a king. In Turkey, it's the breakfast of Gods.


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