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

Lokma, hot & sweet Ottoman snack

Posted on 9 December 2018

Photos © Slawomira Kozieniec During the cold winter months I see all kinds of warm street snacks popping up in Istanbul. Lokma is one of them. The Turkish word lokma means ‘mouthful’ or ‘morsel’. Just recently a couple of young men started to sell these lokma tatlısı (deep fried dough balls), soaked in sugar syrup in… Read more »

Chaotic piles of wood

Posted on 1 December 2018

Whenever you see a chaotic pile of wood while strolling the backstreets of Istanbul, you can be sure that this is the new delivery for one of the many traditional wood-burning stone ovens where artisan breads or lahmacun – Turkish pizza – are baked.

Turks drink most tea in the world

Posted on 30 November 2018

Not in China, nor in the United Kingdom people drink most tea in the world, but in Turkey. No less than 3.16 kg per person per year. Tea is part of Turkish culture. Offering a glass tea to any stranger and all guests is a traditional token of Turkish hospitality. Most restaurants offer tea for… Read more »

Roasted chestnuts as a snack

Posted on 27 November 2018

Photos © Slawomira Kozieniec First there is the smoke from a distance. Coming closer to the source of the smoke you smell something that reminds you of barbecue. But this is different. It is roasted as meat, but in a more gentle way. ‘Kestane kebab’ (roasted chestnuts) shouts the street vendor. With a small metal… Read more »

Street vendors give Istanbul extra charm

Posted on 21 November 2018

One of the many charms of Istanbul is that you still find lots of street vendors, also called hawkers, everywhere. They sell all kinds of merchandise or provide services like shining your shoes. It reminds me of my youth in the south of the Netherlands where I saw them selling sweets, or shoe shine, or sharpening… Read more »