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

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 »

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 »

Boza, an Ottoman fermented ‘milkshake’

Posted on 21 September 2018

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. It… 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 »

Kumpir: Turkish baked potato

Posted on 24 June 2015

Photos: Slawomira Kozieniec Kumpir is the Turkish name for a baked potato with various fillings. It is one of my favorite fast foods in Istanbul. They are made with big – I mean really big – potatoes that are wrapped with foil and baked in special ovens. The potatoes are cut straight down the middle… Read more »