After wrapping up a season of The Walking Dead with all its brain-dead mumbling, skin-decaying, flesh-eating gore, I was inspired to share some memorable and tasty eats of my own.
Like an instinctual zombie taking to human flesh, it’s easy to see why Turkish fare is so ubiquitously appreciated across all cultures (of the living human kind). Featuring a variety of spices from the East, halal meats from the Middle East and culinary styles from all over Europe and North Africa, Turkish food is as diverse as its history.
It is hard to choose just one memorable dish to share but if I had to in order to entice a zombie away from my own flesh, I would say that it was Kaymakçı Pando at Beşiktaş market. (See photos 8 and 9 above or click here.) This family-run breakfast bar, which opened its doors in 1895, is known for its kaymak (or clotted cream). Made by skimming simmered buffalo milk, which results in a very rich thick cream, kaymak is served with honey and enjoyed with sliced white bread and black tea.
Our experience at Kaymakçı Pando in Istanbul started with meeting 88 year old Pando himself, whose family made kaymak for the royal house of the Ottoman Empire. With shaky but careful hands, this local legend took our order, laid out our spread and mimed the local ritual of enjoying this meal. With eager bellies, we added village eggs with orange yolks served sunny side up and a standard plate of cheese, olives, sliced cucumber and tomato.
Though very simple, the textures and flavors complemented one another delightfully. It was a meal that I will mindlessly crave and clumsily grab at even after a transformation into witless zombi-ism.
Want more on good eats in Turkey? Visit Spicycocoa’s food blog here.