Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Top Ten Tuesdays: Ten Things Turkish!

Top Ten Things Turkish on Top Ten Tuesdays! Gotta love all those Ts and the topic of this post (I hope!)

Guess what, in less than 24 hours, me and my husband are flying again to Istanbul, Turkey. Like what was noted by my colleague, this is my 4th trip to Turkey in less than six months, so I must really love the place!

Well, that is true - I love the place but most importantly the people in it. I love the tradition and the things that are distinctly Turkish! And here are my Top Ten Things Turkish (almost!)

Evil Eye and Turkish Tea
1. Turkish Evil Eye: Of course, the strong belief in the ability to refrain from bad luck is VERY VERY obvious among Turks. You will see all sorts and types of evil eyes and evil eye decor almost EVERYWHERE in Turkey. The most weird thing I've seen (so far) is evil eye underwear design (in a kinky store - and don't ask what I was doing there, still in tourist mode!)

Some of the evil eyes we have are bracelets, rings, earrings (a real jewelry), pot holder, car holder, wall decor, door decor, towels, pots - you get the picture! We even sold evil eyes to our colleagues (still selling!) so we can share its awesome power.

2. Turkish Tea: My husband used to tell me that Turks drink more tea than Brits. I didn't believe him until I was there the first time. They even have street vendors for Turkish Tea in parks, for crying out loud. They serve Turkish Tea in ferry boats, bus and all public places! We went to bazaars and we are offered to have Turkish Tea just by window shopping. And with all biased opinion - Turkish Tea are the best tea I've ever tasted, way better than Earl Tea. (I did say, biased opinion!)

Turkish Viagra
Turkish Delight 

3.  Turkish Delight. Or locally known as LOKUM, Turkish delight is pure and authentic Turkish candy. It comes in a lot of different flavor and sizes. Walk through the Grand Bazaar and you'll be treated with free tastes of Turkish delight. It is mostly sugar so caution with the fat accumulation in your body. I should know. Arrghhh!

4.  Turkish Viagra. Okay to be quite honest, I've only known about this during my last visit three weeks ago. Apparently, it is as popular as Turkish Delight. It's simply a concoction of dried nuts, dried fruit and sugar - well, who knew that Turkish people need viagra? I think it's that Vitamin E content in all those ingredients that can give its aphrodisiac appetite. (Honey, go easy on that dried apricot mixed almond!) 

5. Turkish Coffee. It is popularly known around the world as Turkish Coffee! What the world is missing is the tradition after drinking the Turkish Coffee. You can actually read your fate in your Turkish coffee cup. Yeah, like predicting your future from tea leaves, only in this case, shredded and diluted Turkish coffee beans. I always drink Turkish coffee for this purpose. My in-laws know how to make me feel good with my future. They always make out FISH from my coffee cup which apparently is very lucky! 

6. Turkish Simit. It is a light and flaky bread, baked to a golden brown colored and topped with sesame streets. Most of the time, it is formed into rings but there are braided breads as well. It think it goes well with Turkish Tea especially if you are starving going all around Istanbul or any touristic spots in Turkey. It usually costs 1TL, very cheap, to feed growling stomachs. It tastes like no fast food bread even though it is.

Eating Turkish simit 

7. Turkish Shawarma. Sharwarma did originate from Turkey. And Turkish people know how it should taste like. Any Turk would complain how badly a sharwarma taste like if it is not "Turkish." Sharwarma actually originally came from a Turkish world, ├ževirme , means "turning." Shawarma is prepared by "turning" the meat a spit while it is being slow-grilled. 

posing beside Turk and Turkish shawarma 

8. Turkish Pie or Pide and Turkish Pizza or Lahmajun. Okay, these are two Turkish dishes but equally popularly in Turkey. In my Pinoy culture, these are they equivalent for a full meal. They can survive without eating rice because of these carbo-loaded meals. Turkish pie is great with (you've guessed it - Turkish Tea) and could be  a stand alone snack or dinner. What Turks normally do is to pre-baked the dough and just bake dough with toppings, - cheese, meat or greens and it is instant meal. 

As for Turkish Pizza, it is like any thin crust-pizza with the toppings, except that it is normally served with parsley and lemon, placed as toppings and rolled before eating. It gives that "healthy" feel since it has veggies. 

Turkish Pie or Pide
Turkish Pizza or Lahmajun

9. Kokorec. My favorite! No trip to Turkey is complete without eating Kokorec. Some tourists are so grossed out with this meal since it's lamb intestines. It is usually served as a sandwich and perceived to be so unhealthy (and dirty!) but hey, I was brought up in country where we eat unfertilized chicken eggs (craving for balut now!) We really like the taste of Kokorec, including Kylie of course! 
YUUMMM - kokorec

Kokorec sandwich
10. Turkish Linen.  Okay, it's almost all of the items in this list are food. Moving on to another trademark - Turkish linens! Not-your-normal-made-in-China linen but Turkish-hand-made-linens. Great quality and great craftmanship. Almost all Turkish bedrooms are like this. Awesome sheets they have indeed (no mockery there - really!) 

Turkish Linen!

Did I miss out important Turkish trademarks? Pretty sure I did as ten is such a few. What are your favorite things that are Turkish? Do tell. 

Keep exploring!

Linking this here:
Top Ten {Tuesday}

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XOXO Turknoys


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