Monday, August 6, 2012


                                              Stacks of Turkish Delight can be found everywhere
                       I love the stuff.  Chewy, sticky little cubes of gelatin, sugar, pistachios, and doused with powdered sugar.  A variety of flavors but the pistachio version is my favorite.                    

      One of several entrances to the Grand Bazaar--Istanbul's largest covered market and the center of trade for the Ottoman Empire.

We found it best to avoid those shops right next to the gates (entrances) because the merchants were harder to deal with and more aggressive. Walking to the center and off the main thoroughfare of the bazaar we found better merchandise and less pleading to buy the wares.

As we walked by the merchants shouted, "Angelie Jolie" or "Madonna", "please let me help you spend your money!"

                                 Outside the Grand Bazaar - also teeming with stalls of stuff.

The Spice Market where we purchased Turkish chili powder to make the delicious Red Lentil soup and apple tea.

                                                       Hand made Turkish dumplings

Our cute guide, Yusuf Kurt, brought us to his favorite lunch place, Sultanahmet Koftecisi, and ordered for us which is good because I don't think they had a menu. We started with a simple salad of white beans, red onions, tomatoes, lettuce, a bit of olive oil, and red wine vinegar.  Very refreshing and I will recreate at home.

These are meatballs with a side of red pepper paste that is not spicy but adds a depth of smoky flavor. Also delicious.

Different lunch place, Ney'le Mey'le, and the waiter, Bayram, was darling--he served us fresh mackerel with a chopped salad.  He deboned the mackerel when he realized we had no clue what we were doing.

Love these Turkish towels from a little shop, Jennifer's Hamam, in the Arasta Bazaar. We liked this little bazaar because prices were noted and when we purchased a few items we would receive a 20% discount.

This guy was darling.  We would point to what we wanted and he filled our bag with what he thought best.  He was right, of course.  Delicious baklava and other phyllo dough honeyed treats at Edebiyat Kiraathanesi.

Turkish ice cream is made with goats milk and ground powder from wild orchids.  It is sticky and stretchy so the ice cream dippers play all sorts of tricks (pretending to drop it, turning it over so you think the ice cream will plop to the ground) before they hand you your cone.  We didn't love it the first time we tried it so we went to Mado's, reportedly the best in Istanbul, and it was good.

Three of the four gorgeous lanterns I purchased to hang in my backyard for a little touch of Istanbul.

                                         Leslie bought the hanging fixture for her backyard.

This shop, Cocoon, was darling--the only shop that we found with a woman running the place.  The young woman's grandmother started this shop to feature handmade items made by local stay at home moms.  Several of these pieces are made by tatting, a series of knots to make lace-like pieces.

                           I bought two necklaces for my 14 year old niece and she loved them.

Of course there is so much more to show--scarfs, rugs, textiles, jewelry, pottery, etc.  (A few more  purchases will show up in future posts.) Turkey is full of talented craftsman and artists - I could have brought home trunks full of gorgeous pieces and spices.


  1. Wonderful pictures. I can practically smell the spices from here.

  2. Mary: Thank you. Sensory overload in the markets.

  3. I was mentioned on your blog! I am a celebrity now!

  4. Ellbell: You are a rock star.

  5. My friend Cheryl just arrived there, so I am sending her to your blog!