Turkey’s Delightful Flavors

Hello Cheese Enthusiasts!

Turkey, a beautiful country located between the Black Sea and the Mediterranean. Officially known as the Republic of Turkey, it lies between the continents of Europe and Asia.

Years ago, my father visited there and told me about the multi-level ancient underground city in the Derinkuyu district of Nevşehir. Built between 7000 and 8000 BC, this ancient city is about 60 meters underground and reportedly had a population of 20,000 at its peak. I can hardly imagine the vastness of this underground city.

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Not too long ago, in 2018, my dear cousin went there and shared some beautiful photos and stories. This is a photo she took of hot air balloons in Cappadocia, Turkey.

All of this led me to find myself wanting to write an article about Turkish cuisine and cheeses.

I did a quick search on the internet for “Turkish markets” and found a market called Figs & Olives about 30 kilometers away from my home. It had been a while since I spent so much time in a market, but the manager of the market, Derya, was very patient with me and gave me some great recommendations. I carefully read what was written on the packaging… Then, I left the market with three full bags and a desire to explore these flavors…

As I expected, the market had labne, a soft cheese quite popular in Middle Eastern cuisine, which has a texture similar to cream cheese but is made from strained yogurt. It has about half the fat and calories of regular cream cheese but with a yogurt-y tang. I was happy to find the Turkish brand İçim Labne at the market. I enjoyed it with honey and dried apricots for breakfast. It also served as a versatile ingredient for dinner… It worked wonderfully as a sauce for vegetables and as a marinade for chicken tandır.

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After I finished my meal, it was time for Turkish coffee. It’s made using a special long-handled coffee brewing pot called a cezve, and after adding a bit of water, Turkish coffee is mixed in and set to boil. Within a few minutes, the coffee-water mixture begins to boil and rise. It’s taken off the heat to let the foam settle and then placed back on the heat to rise again. This process is repeated 2-3 times. Then,

you let it rest for 30 seconds before pouring it into a small cup. Many people enjoy this coffee plain, but you can also add a bit of sugar to taste.

Having had two cups of coffee, I’ll stay awake until midnight and search for these Turkish cheeses on the internet: Fresh Kaşar, Aged Kaşar, Tulum, Smoked Cheese, and lastly, Konya Blue Cheese!!

Trevor Thomas
Cheese Connoisseur

For the full article: https://www.cheesetraveler.com/home/turkish-delights