Yep, it’s only been 3.5 months, but I’m heading back to the States. This time I have some business to tend to, but will visiting my family for the most part. Once again, as I anticipate my departure, I am salivating over thoughts of food.
Yes, pork is at the top of my list: bacon, scrapple, sausages, italian sausages, pork chops, pork roast, and all of the lovely lunch meats – especially the Italian lunch meats. And I’m not going to pay a lot for my muffler!
Turkish food is good. Yes, it’s good. But sometimes, especially when I am about to head State-side and chomp down on a huge Alaskan King Crab leg, all I can do is bitch about it. If one more person tries to shove a dolma down my throat, I’m just going to scream! Please, your grandmother’s recipe? Seriously? It’s a bland green pepper or bland grape leaf, stuffed with bland rice. What’s that? You added mint and onion? Great. Peasant food. Ugh.
Just once, I would like to go to a restaurant that didn’t have kofte on the menu. I know, there’s like 10 different kinds of kofte. But just because one shapes them differently doesn’t mean they taste differently. And yes, you can call it a kebap if you like. It’s ground meat with cumin. Done.
Vision of cheesesteaks danced through my head. I will even eat from the Philadelphia streets’ food trucks. Mmmm mmmmm good. I betcha Grandma never made those! Back in WC, I’m not so picky.
I will eat any kind of pizza. I don’t have to beg, over and over, for extra-extra sauce just so the pizza has enough so I can actually see an inkling of red.
Steaks. Okay, I admit Butcha does a great steak, as long as they bring the one you order and not the so-called “Dallas” steak which is nothing but fat. And I am not one to complain about fat lightly. But for the most part, steaks should NOT be cut to 1 cm thick, hammered, murdered with salt, and then cooked to the last drop of juice has dried. It’s just a crime. Let’s not even talk about what is done to lamb chops. And yes, I like the spices, and the salt sometimes too, the lamb and cow were already killed once. At this point, it’s just beating a dead horse!
The variety – over and over I write about this. So we spent the weekend at the Black Sea. It’s just a beautiful place. Gorgeous. And “famous” for its fish restaurants. The menus of each and every place has the names of the same fish with the same prices. Not one said how the fish was cooked. Not one named another ingredient, herb, sauce – because not one used any of them. Boring. Boring as hell. Head, skin, tail. Grilled. Done.
Variety. I am sooooo going to get a cob of corn that I prefer to eat rather than feed it to a cow. The corn here is gross. Really bad. And everyone here loves the corn. No exceptions. No kidding.
Yogurt. The yogurt is great. It’s also necessary. You have to cover those dolmas with something to help them go down.
Lobster tail. Sauteed scallops. Baked stuffed clams. Can’t wait.
Sushi. I can find pretty good sushi here. True. But there is no Philadelphia-style Morimoto. And no one here like my friend Freddie who knows how to special order sushi. And much like home, Chinese places have taken to serving Thai and Japanese food. It just ain’t right.
Roast beef. This one’s for you Steve! There’s just no roast beef here. Try explaining it to the butcher. I have literally decided that I’m going to get my Turkish on, stamp into a butcher shop, map of slaughtered cow in hand, and teach the butchers how it’s done.
Yams. Sweet potatoes. Red potatoes. Fingerlings.
Oh, I’m sooooo going to eat my way through the next few weeks.
You really need to ask your mother-in-law to prepare you the real Turkish food and not the stuff served in restaurants. And definitely a visit to Gaziantep would change your mind about Turkish food completely :D.
Safe trip and have fun in the US!
Hi Reyhan. Thanks for the comment My Mother in law is a great cook, as is the grandmother, aunts, etc. I was wondering if I would hear from you on this one. It’s not that I don’t like Turkish food, I’m just bored of it. Everyone claims big differences between regions, but I am not seeing much of a difference. My apologies for being somewhat offensive in this post – I am just ranting and craving more variety. Thanks for the good wishes and have a great summer!
Hahaha not really, I do really feel the same sometimes and when I go back home I’m looking forwards not only to seeing my family and friends but also to enjoying delicious Spanish food… and loads of pork :D. In Gaziantep both the food and the baklava are amazingly tasty, plus the portions are bigger and cheaper than what you can get in Ankara.
I don’t think there are “big” differences between regions, but it is true that each region has its own specialities and flavors. I have also read that Kurdish cuisine is rather particular but I haven’t had the chance of trying it myself.
By the way, you just put into words what all of us start thinking at some point!
I hope you too have a fantastic summer! 🙂
Oh dear! Does this mean the honeymoon is over? 😉
Not yet! Just the with the food. Still loving the cheap wine from Metro Gross Markt!
Terry, everytime I read your blogs on food, you make me so hungry!!!
Hi Terry! I had to laugh as I was reading your post and even though I go on about all the fresh produce here, there is also a serious lack of variety, sauces, and of course lovely delicious PORK!!!!! Shall I tell you something? I never do roast beef after one catastrophic time in ankara when I was newly married. Never again. Now the only beef I buy is fillet and mince. So enjoy your time in the States, enjoy every mouthful!!!
Jealous now, so so jealous – cold water seafood, scallops, crab, lobster tails, fish cooked with flair not bbq’d until their eyes dry out into little sunken discs and their bones shrink from overcooked flesh and pop through the leathery skin, succulent chops and inches thick steaks. I miss variety too! Have fun and enjoy and tell us about it when you get back. Honestly, after a decent break dolma gets ok again, kofte doesn’t 🙂 K xxx
There are not enough hamburger shops in Turkey?
Hi Emre! Oh no no no. A 6mm kofte burger is NOT a hamburger. Hamburgers are 2.5 cm thick – and they are just beef. Nothing added to the mix. mmmmmmm. Hamburger. Yum.
Terry – hope we get to see you this trip. But on topic, Sandra and I went to NY today and had lunch at a Turkish restaurant on Restaurant Row. Everything was real good…but the kanafah – this great cheesey, filo-ey dessert we first tried in Jerusalem – was awesome. Where’s your sweet tooth?
I have no sweet tooth Mark. My idea of dessert is a NY Strip Steak. Will try to see you next week!