I woke up this morning feeling a bit better and had the usual breakfast: black and green olives, cucumber strips, tomato wedges, two bites of cheese, two kinds of fruit syrup, and a slice of some kind of meat that I don’t eat and bread with butter and tea. I asked for coffee instead of tea. I couldn’t make the server understand that I want milk in my coffee. One of the reception guys knows that now. You usually have to ask for butter as that is not always included with bread. As a matter of fact, that was true in Spain, as well. What is bread without butter?
Coffee in Turkey comes in two choices: Turkish coffee, or Nestle’s instant.
Turkish coffee is that coffee served in a tiny cup with the grounds settling in the bottom. You usually have about two to three tablepoons of coffee. I actually like the taste of it. Then, if you ask for regular coffee it is instant. The waiter usually asks, “Turkish or Nestles”?
I have gone to restaurants that make cappuccino, cafe au lait and other special coffee drinks and found that they are all made with Nestle’s. I think stock in Nestle’s would be a good buy, but I’m not a broker so don’t go out and buy any without asking first.
Another good stock option seems to be the company/s that make those hand cleaning wipes. I’ve mentioned this before: every restaurant, coffee shop and small, food and drink kiosks give you one of those in a package. The outside of the package has the business name, address, phone and website. They are everywhere.
Turkish food is good, of course, depending on the restaurant and the skills of the chef/cook. The kiosks have good sandwiches with meat or chicken. The meat is somehow folded together and cooked on a spit. The meat is shaved downward in thin slices off of the standing roll of meat. It is called doner, with two dots over the ‘o’.
Yoghurt is a staple and served with many types of dishes.
Vegetarian dishes are easy to find, such as the salad I had yesterday. It was served in a bowl with diced cucumbers, tomatoes, corn, peppers, onion, zucchini, and white cheese cubes. The Turkish meals are garnished with everything imaginable. I’ve seen tops of carrots, celery, mint, dill and other sprigs, that give the dish an artistic flair. Crushed red pepper is also used a lot as the final touch.
There are many bakeries that sell mostly savory types of pastry, but some do have sweet pastry as well. The one I had the other day, was a folded triangle made with layers of flaky crust, and loaded with grated up dates, nuts and seeds. Delicious.
I haven’t seen many children’s toys, which surprises me. However, in hot tourist spots there are men selling little spinning tops.
The ‘evil eye’ is also a hot item for tourists. I first saw some of those blue and white eyes in Izmir. They were embedded in a concrete wall. Later I saw them in jewelry and key chains. The evil eye stems from a desire to keep evil away. But there are other explanations that contradict one another. I don’t get the feeling they are not given much importance, but just as a traditional object.