Istanbul is unique. It is the only city in the world where two continents meet. Enjoy old and new in the cultural capital of Turkey with Istanbul expert Marc Guillet

Turks call a turkey a hindi!

Posted on 30 December 2014

IMG_1795(1)Yip they are displayed in the butchers’ shops again in Istanbul as it is this time of the year that Turks too eat more turkey. Most are part of dinner on New Year’s Eve.


I saw a lot of them today in the butcher shops in our local bazaar.

In Turkey they call them ‘hindi’, as they thought these birds originated in India. As did the Dutch (Calicut-hoen), French (poule d’Inde), Poles (indyk). The Brits thought they originated in Turkey. They were all wrong as these exotic birds originated in Mexico!

kalkoen 1Tomorrow many Turkish families in the big cities have stuffed turkey for dinner. Not in families of pious Muslims. They don’t celebrate New Year’s Eve. “That’s a Christian feast”, my barber says.

Turks with a western life style party like we do in Europe. But just a little different. They make a mix of Christmas and Thanksgiving! With presents. Stuffed turkey for dinner.

Delicious with Ottoman pilav (rice for a couple of minutes in oil and cooked in stock) and quince paste. Plus a nice bottle of red Turkish wine. My preference is a bottle from the Öküzgözü grape, one of the two native grape varieties of Elazığ province.

I wish everybody Mutlu Yıllar – Happy New Year!

Read more about the origins of the turkey here:



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