All posts filed under: Popular

Foodie Trip to Belgrade, Serbia: Discovering the Wines of Balkans

The last two weeks were a little hectic so I couldn’t blog, sorry! First, I’ll fill you in on my foodie trip to Belgrade. The surprise trip helped to refresh my head and relieve my cravings for food and wine. Let’s be honest, no one would consider Serbia as a foodie destination so my expectation was low, but we had a great time, eating and drinking for 5 days. The city was relaxing yet exciting, and the people welcoming. Everyone we stopped to ask for directions spoke English. Serbian food was all about meat, yes, but good meat, the juicy smokey meatballs! It itself served the purpose of going there since we’re quite deprived of meat in Turkey, especially pork. It was so ubiquitous that our pork-shy friend was left choiceless sometimes. We spoiled ourselves with all kinds of meat including venison, believing that not eating vegetables and salads for 5 days wouldn’t do any harm to humans, and it was a holiday after all. In case anything happened, there was Rakija to fix all health related issues so we had nothing to worry. Rakija actually surprised me big time. …

Review: Raw Wine London 2017 – Part 1

Hello! I’m now back home from London and am adjusting to a ‘normal’ life. I know you’ve been waiting to hear from me! Finally, I’ll share some of the experiences but first, I’ll review Raw Wine London. The Raw Wine Fair was more inspirational and educational than any previous wine fairs I’d attended, and I’ll explain why. You might want to grab a glass of wine and sit back before going on because this long post might bore you. There are so many wines to review and so much to say so I’ve decided to write in two posts. The first one will be about my general impression and a few remarkable wines, followed by the second part, which will feature more memorable wines that are worth a mention. To start off, why did I attend the event? I’ve been interested in organic wines ever since the film, Mondovino but wasn’t quite crazy enough to drink ‘only’ organic wine, whose term has evolved into ‘natural wine‘ over time. I’ve always cooked seasonal and healthy, plus some of my wine friends …

Portugal Wine Tour: Part 1- Porto and Douro Valley

Ehem, no, I didn’t go to Portugal again, but I’m writing about the trip I made 2 years ago.  I couldn’t post it then because my blog was down but I thought I’d share my experience since it was not only great but also educational. It’s always better late than never, right? Someone out there might get some useful tips from my post, who knows? Blogging is a great way to document and relive good moments, I believe. So if you’re planning to visit Portugal, this might help you. It was our honeymoon trip and we rented a car and drove all around Portugal. It’s a great country to do so and I highly recommend it. Also, advice from friends, mutual friends and blog friends was invaluable in making the trip great and memorable. Though the ultimate destination was Porto, our trip started and ended in Lisbon, and got to see more of the country than we’d thought because flying to Lisbon from Istanbul was more convenient. Mr.O and I had no idea where to visit as we usually …

stuffed quince

Lamb-Stuffed Quince – A Turkish Persian Twist

Right after I got back from Korea, I got sick with a cold, which didn’t surprise me, considering how burnt out I felt during the trip. I drank tons of quince tea, honey tea, pear and ginger molasses to ease a coughing fit. As soon as I felt I’d got over it, I found myself standing at the kitchen bench with a desire to cook up something nice and nourishing. In autumn and winter, quinces are everywhere and Turkish people even eat them raw. Yeah, I know you’re wincing saying TART! But you know what? Apparently, there are different varieties and the Turkish variety isn’t that tart, as they were known as golden apple and enjoyed by the ancient Greeks, Romans, and Persians. So do I eat them raw? Yes, I do in Turkey but I’ve never done it in anywhere else. Koreans eat them for medicinal reasons and my mum makes a huge batch of quince preserves like in the picture every year as  they’re good for cold symptoms. Many Turkish cooks use the quince in different dishes, …

Persimmon Banana Buckwheat Bread

At this time tomorrow I’ll be in Korea… for another wedding or two, first mine and then my brother’s. How lucky am I to have two weddings? Oh, three actually. You bet! Nah…. However, the traditional Korean wedding ceremony might be quite interesting, lots of bowing, throwing live chickens, lots of noise from SamulNori(Traditional music performance), lots of food and drinks, and above all, beautiful Korean traditional clothes, Hanbok. Everyone around is excited about experiencing a traditional wedding, which is long forgotten as almost all couples do a western wedding these days. So it’s going to be a memorable event for all … …..especially for in-laws and Mr.O’s friends coming all the way to the far away land full of rumours and myths. “Do they have cheese? Do they have bread? Do they really eat rice for breakfast?” and many more. Anyway, we’re taking lots of bread and cheese with us, and even Simits for my nephews, who liked them so much when they came to Turkey last year. As I was trying to empty out the fridge …

massimo villas

Delicious Sicily: Part 2- Palermo Market and Cooking at Massimo Villas

This is probably the highlight of my Sicilian trip and it’s because of the wonderful home cooking experience. Since the cooking was in the evening, we decided to visit Palermo, more precisely the street market, yipeeee! Before I start, I’ll share the video of the home cooking, Private Chef, Cefalu by Joolzy on for those who prefer to watch rather than to read. Julian did a great job in delivering the true atmosphere of the evening in his short video, and I’m looking forward to seeing more videos  on the rest of the trip soon. So now let’s move on to the market. The market we went to is Ballarò in Palermo. Living in Istanbul, I’m used to the bustles and shouts of vendors but in Sicily they were a lot louder, making strange whistles and tunes! There are so many photos of foods but I can’t and won’t share them all. There was a huge variety of produce and some of them had odd shapes and sizes or were strange like this snake-like long zucchini, cucuzza. What caught my attention …