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5 Dishes to Eat in Peru

Peru
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Peru is fast-gaining a spot in international culinary conversations. It is home to dishes and flavours that are unique to the region, and not found anywhere else. Few places offer such diversity of ingredients,... Read more

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Istanbul Food & Travel Guide: Now on Kindle! Laura Siciliano-Rosen April 21, 2014

Turkish Delight from Istanbul, Turkey
Lokum, or Turkish delight, from Istanbul

Our Istanbul Food & Travel Guide is here! It’s our eighth destination guide on Kindle ($5.99; available on Amazon.com), but it’s extra special because it’s an Amazon exclusive—that’s right, this food guide is available on Amazon before it’s even on our website! (Think of it as an early release of our future kickass Istanbul section.)

Given Turkey’s epic history, you could spend years studying and sampling the cuisine of Istanbul—but if you don’t have that luxury of time, this new guide is for you. Here, we zero in on the most iconic of Istanbul’s foods and drinks—the greatest hits, you might say, from history and popular culture, from...

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Tags: Kindle Turkey

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Dish Spotlight: Boza in Istanbul, Turkey Laura Siciliano-Rosen February 26, 2014

Boza with chickpeas in Istanbul

I’m a sucker for wintery drinks. Not just of the hot chocolate variety—that’s a given—but also thick, filling, savory drinks, like eggnog, Mexican atole, and this stuff, boza, in Turkey. A traditional fermented drink made from wheat, millet, or bulgur—and onetime favorite beverage of Ottoman sultans—boza is kind of an odd duck: It’s served chilled, it’s thick as pudding, and it’s at turns sour and sweet. It’s typically served topped with cinnamon and crunchy roasted chickpeas, which only makes me love it more.

In Istanbul, we wandered the streets a while before we found Vefa Bozacici, an old-school boza dispenser in the otherwise modernized district of Vefa. There was just one...

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Tags: Turkey dishes

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Video: The Making of Manti, in Sinop, Turkey Laura Siciliano-Rosen July 24, 2013

Mantı. We tried the beloved Turkish ravioli, filled with ground lamb or beef, three different ways in our travels around the country. In Kayseri, in Central Anatolia, whose version of the dish is most famous, the boiled dumplings are tiny and set afloat in a soupy tomato sauce, dolloped with garlicky yogurt and finished with a sprinkle of oregano, pul biber (red pepper), and chili oil.

Kayseri mantisi from Kasik-La restaurant, Kayseri, Turkey
Kayseri mantısı

At a roadside cafe in Istanbul we tasted a more standardized mantı, all yogurt, chili oil, and biber, the dumplings folded much larger.

Manti from Istanbul, Turkey
Mantı in Istanbul

And in Sinop, along Turkey’s Black Sea coast, the ravioli are likewise bigger, with soft, delicate skins, and they’re...

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Tags: dishes Turkey video Europe

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What to Eat in Sinop, Turkey’s Black Sea Coast Laura Siciliano-Rosen June 13, 2013

View of Sinop harbor, Turkey
The perfect hotel view, in Sinop

Jutting out into the Black Sea on Turkey’s north coast, pretty Sinop is a water-lover’s retreat with its expansive sea views and picturesque harbor, bobbing with boats. It’s a gem along this stretch of coast, its idyllic setting boasting a small-town yet cosmopolitan atmosphere and, beyond that, a whole lot of living history: Walk the crumbling city walls, dating to around 72 BC, for some of the best views in town; poke around the active harbor for a taste of what the city’s trading-port past might’ve been like, millennia ago. But there’s another reason to make the trip up here: the food. Fishmongers abound, and their freshly caught wares spill out...

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Tags: destinations Turkey

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A Walk Through Istanbul’s Spice Bazaar Laura Siciliano-Rosen November 1, 2012

Spice bazaar in Istanbul, Turkey
Diving into the crowded Spice Bazaar in Istanbul (with some gratuitous product placement, natch).

It’s true we’re biased toward food markets, but Istanbul's Grand Bazaar—with its expensive gold jewelry, leather jackets, and endless rows of mass-produced evil-eye tchotchkes—just wasn’t our thing. Much more fun and interactive was the Misir Çarsisi, or Spice Bazaar, a.k.a. the Egyptian market, established in Eminönü in 1664 (it once specialized in goods brought from Egypt). It’s the market you walk smack into if you approach the Old City from the Galata Bridge, as we did most days from our home base in Karaköy.

Over the years, the spice market has become plenty tourist-friendly; in...

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Tags: Turkey travel photos Europe

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In Search of Hazelnuts on the Black Sea Laura Siciliano-Rosen October 7, 2012

A pile of findik, or hazelnuts from Turkey

Merhaba. Findik?” I made the motion of eating something. After one week of travel in Turkey, my Turkish had not improved a whole lot.

Three of the men at the roadside table looked blankly at me, but one caught my drift. He said something rapidly in Turkish and pointed vaguely down the dusty, barren road. I was doubtful but pretended I understood, thanked him profusely, and directed Scott, behind the wheel in our rental car, down the street.

There was only one storefront among the garages that it could possibly be. I repeated my terrible Turkish to the man standing in front of it. He nodded, turned away, and returned to the doorway with cupped hands. They were filled with...

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Tags: Turkey travel Europe

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In Istanbul: A Brief Tribute to the Iskender Kebab Laura Siciliano-Rosen October 3, 2012

Iskander Kebab from Istanbul

Thin-sliced beef. Tomato sauce. Melted butter. Such is the holy trinity of the Iskender kebab, a.k.a. the döner kebab on crack—and one of the best things we’ve eaten thus far in Istanbul.

Of course I’m exaggerating (not about the crack part, because this is an easily addictive dish). There are two other key components to this kebab: Under the meat is a bed of cut-up flatbread, ensuring none of the sauce goes unsoaked, and off to the side is a pile of thick yogurt, imparting the perfect creamy, cooling balance to every bite. A few tomatoes and blackened green peppers add color to the plate, as well as winking vegetal presence. It’s not all meat and fat!

This kebab has its origins...

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Tags: Turkey dishes Europe

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