Initially I was tempted to write off all Turkish food with the simple advice – just don’t go there! But then I remembered the sweets….. Each town seems to have it’s own specialty, whcih are all well represented in the Otogar (bas station), which was great! My absolute favourite was Bursa, home of candied chestnuts, mmmm…. Sorry i’ll try not to dribble on the keyboard! The main focus seemed to be little chocolates which were a paste of chocolate & candied chestnut with a piece of chestnut in the middle – divine! And the stall where I bought mine gave me not one, but 2 free as samples….. And then of course the candied chestnuts themselves!!!! (You may not be aware but in France/Belgium these little gems are valued higher than the best quality chocolates!) And when we moved onto other towns there was Safranbolu, specialising in saffron turkish delight, dried fig towns, fairy floss towns, wonderful!
Getting back to the savoury food though – it’s incredible how much tasteless white bread is eaten over there! Breakfast is an egg boiled for 20mins, bread, tomato, cucumber, olives & depending on where you are either local feta or some sort of spreadable abomination…. And dinner was meat. Barbequed. And more meat. And for our lucky vegetarian friend the odd vegetables cooked until their colour & texture changed….. For a few days it’s possible to live on gozleme (a dough rolled out really thin, filled with potato & chilli, or feta & mint, or of course meat, then cooked on a big shield shaped grill) and manti – turkish ravioli made from the same dough in yoghurt with a meat & tomato sauce on top, but even they pale after a while.
Though I suppose I should mention the amazing Roman etc. ruins (Troy & Ephesis), spectacular scenery (Cappadocia – it’s definitely worth the balloon trip!) and the beautiful (stone) beaches, as aside fromt he food it really is worth visiting.