Istanbul Spice Market

I never knew that Istanbul was such a food capital, though I could have imagined that in a place where East meets West, it would be a melting pot of different food cultures. The aromas, the colours and the tastes have taken over – I am now slightly obsessed with Istanbul.

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We had been on a cruise of the Bosphorus River right up to the Black Sea and back, and had arrived back in the city on the southern end of the Galata Bridge. My friend Nicole and I, having travelled to Europe together in 2006 and eaten two gelati each per day, had a craving for ice cream so started walking the narrow streets. We literally turned a corner and ended up at the entrance to the Spice Market. Overwhelmed by the smell of spices, we entered the ancient building, forgetting all about the ice cream.

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Vendors were calling us in, inviting us to taste nougat filled with pomegranate jelly, pistachio nougat and rose scented Turkish delight.

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When we got the end of the building in which the Spice Market is located, we found ourselves in an open market with fruit, cheese and fish. As there are many goats and sheep in the hills of Turkey, this is where the milk from which the cheese is made comes from. There is a fantastic pulled cheese that is in strands, which I have been having for breakfast each day back in the hotel (with some fresh salad of baby tomato, cucumber and basil) and it is incredible.

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During this trip, I have been posting lots of non-food photos in a travel blog called italyontheroad , which is a (mainly) photographic travel journal for friends and family to keep up with what we are doing on our travels. Please check it out if you would like to see a bit more about what I do when I am not eating!

5 comments on “Istanbul Spice Market

  1. I lived in Istanbul for 6 months back in 2007 and I never tired of the food. I don’t think I ever ate a bad meal there. I hope you had a chance to try the balik ekmek (fish sandwich). They are sold on the boats just near the Spice Market and Eminonu docks. Soooo delicious!

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    • I had one of those last night! Took lots of photos, such fun, I will be making it into a “fish sandwich” blog post one day. You know you are into a good thing when lots of Turks are eating there (rather than tourists)

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