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That just looks so good, I don't know what else to say. Every time I read about your experiences in Turkey it just reinforces my need to go there. SOON.


I love to read that Kristina. Best payback for a blog post is when we're told that it inspired someone to go there and eat that. Thank you!

Nanital Tourism

nice post. simply loved the first pic!


It's a coincidence that I was just thinking about where to go for this summer holiday, I think Turkey is the destination this time round! How long do you think Istanbul needs to do most of the tourist things and experience the local culture? Are there any other regions apart from Istanbul you recommend in Turkey?

Snippets of Thyme

That pide looks so simple yet so delicious. Great story about visiting the school and 'sort of' teaching the kids. Such a love/hate relationship with Americans/Westerners we've noticed. I totally understand why but when it's on the 'not so much love' side, the weight of our country's past (and present) actions feel like a burden to carry around sometimes.


Kristina: you'll surely be disappointed if you ever go to Turkey. The food is bland, lacks variety and their neighbours do most things better, including kebaps and pides.

I lived there and the only food that I miss from time to time is mercimek çorba (lentil soup) and some Ottoman dishes that were pretty hard to find in Turkey any way.

gummi baby

I haven't travelled for a while but I have great memories of spontaneous variations in itinerary that led to experiences you could never book in advance. The pide looks so mouth-wateringly good I feel like having it for lunh today! : D


Hi Vivi -- too much to tell you in one comment! You could easily give Istanbul a week. We've probably spent a total of 3 months there over the years and whenever we go back we still discover things. It's an absolutely captivating city -- but be forewarned that it gets really hot and sticky in the summer. As for other parts of Turkey ... I really like the southeast, Gaziantep is a wonderful food city (home of baklava, need I say more) and the ancient city of Mardin is really beautiful. I also like the Black Sea coast though it could be clogged with tourists in the summer. If you go early June shouldn't be too bad. Kars and surrounds are also incredibly beautiful, the city has an interesting history and the deserted medieval Armenian city of Ani is within spitting distance. If you're into nature/wetlands that sort of thing Kars would make a wonderful contrast to Istanbul.

Snippets -- yes, very true. I've felt that as well. Very happy memories of travelling in Indonesia shortly after Obama was elected. Everyone had nothing but thumbs-up for Americans. And not-so-nice memory of being berated for being an American at a market in Alba, Piedmont early in the Irq war.

Erod, I'm just going to put in on the line and say you may have lived in Turkey but you must not have gotten out much. There is fantastic food all over Turkey and we should know, we've been traveling intensively there for years. You need to get beyond the kebab shops, man.

gummi -- they're the best travel memories, aren't they?


Had the privilege of spending a week in Istanbul in Sept. Totally loved it...the sights, the people, and the food. I do want to go back and see other cities. I actually found some of the food quite spicey ( I am of Malaysian background) and totally yummy!


Wow, great post and great pictures! Those pides looks soo good. These are my favorite by the way, I love karadeniz pidesi that are narrower and more moist than regular pides (however now that I live in Beijing I would settle for any KEBAP 49 pide as well!). I love that in the black sea they also usually serve you a "salad" of red onion and parsley laced with tons of sumak (personnaly I'd skip the parsley! I never understood the turkish and middle eastern obcession with parsley specifically flat leaf parsley).
As for Erod's comment, I don't understand how he/she can find turkish food bland. They use so many different spices such as all spice, cumin, fennel, coriander, pepper pastes, and also so much fresh vegetables...Hey maybe he or she is Greek!!!

Shanti Christensen

'Ruggedly handsome', I like that. I want to visit beautiful Istanbul, but am equally curious to explore the other parts of Turkey... and when I do, I want to try pide as good as you've documented it.

Hulya Erdal

What a beautiful piece of writing and photography. I love Turkey and the black sea region is particularly breath taking. Well done and keep up the good work.

lara dunston

Wonderful post! Travelled all over Turkey but have never been to the Black Sea region. As my grandmother is from Odessa on the other side of the sea, I'm dreaming of doing a loop around it one day. Great piece! I can taste the pide.


Chris, I think you could explore Istanbul for 2-3 months and not see it all. But yes, there's much beyond to explore too!

Hi Maya -- Truthfully I try to stay away from pide until at least the end of a Turkey trip, otherwise I'll be stuffing my face with it at every turn. I love it with kasar cheese. Or, really, any old way.

Shanti, Istanbul is incomparably beautiful. All the cliches are true. But yes, there's more to Turkey (that said we make time for Istanbul on every trip).

Thank you Hulya! Yes, the Black Sea region is incredible.

Thanks so much Lara. What an epic journey that would be, and I'd love to see what you write about it. (Family history on the Black Sea? I see a book in that.)


Your pictures are mouthwatering and inspirational. One look and my wife and I are now considering traveling to a part of the world we never had previously considered. We will salute you with the first bite of pide. Thanks!


Terry, that's fantastic! You've made our day. More tales from Turkey to come, so stay tuned.

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