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

Spicy vegetarian snack: çiğ köfte

Posted on 3 April 2019

Most friends look at me with suspicion when I introduce them to an unfamiliar kind of Turkish snack, çiğ köfte, and translate it into English: seasoned raw meatballs. You see them thinking: ‘no raw meat for me, because that has been sitting around in the sun breeding bacteria; I don’t want to spoil the rest… Read more »

Boza, an Ottoman fermented ‘milkshake’

Posted on 28 January 2019

Photos  ©  Slawomira Kozieniec The strangest tasting drink I had in Turkey? Defenitely ‘Boza’. A kind of ‘milkshake’ type of drink without milk. The taste is between sour and sweet. It is a malt drink made from fermented wheat in Turkey, maize (corn) and wheat in Albania, and wheat or millet in Bulgaria and Romania…. Read more »

Lokma, hot & ultra sweet Ottoman snack

Posted on 1 January 2019

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 »

Roasted chestnuts as a snack

Posted on 17 December 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 »

Salep, a popular hot drink in winter

Posted on 29 October 2015

The cold months of the year are on the way and with them the street vendors who sell the popular drink salep. This traditional Ottoman drink is usually sold on the streets as a hot beverage, but also on the ferries that cross the Bosporus and in some restaurants like Mado. Salep is a flour… Read more »