Good Food Blog
Turkish foodPosted at 11:02AM, 15 April 2008 by Gregg Wallace - TV presenter, greengrocer
I've just got back from a wonderful week away with my kids, a truly lovely time in Turkey, in a little town called Kas. Obviously I'd love to recount the tales of kayaking and horse riding, but this is a food blog.
Wow! The cuisine of Turkey must be one of the healthiest in the world. I remember banging on about kebabs on an earlier blog. I can't understand the bad press kebabs get, when they seem to be lean meat and raw veg.
My favourite memory is the cook delivering bread to my table on a huge wooden paddle he had just lifted from the wood burning oven...
Turkey is all about veg, starting a meal with mezze - little pots of goodies, pickled vegetables, veggie dips, roughly chopped tomatoes, sliced cucumbers. Fish is more expensive than meat. Chicken and of course lamb are popular. Whether meat or fish, it's always cooked simply and with consideration for the ingredient - usually cooked on a grill over coals. Fantastic!
I had truly wonderful lunches, sometimes beside a river, sometimes halfway up a mountain; prepared and presented in no time at all, with no fuss; chopped vegetables and salad, grilled meats, yoghurt and a squeeze of lemon, perfect. Oh sorry, forgot bread, there was great bread and in large quantities. My favourite memory is the cook delivering bread to my table on a huge wooden paddle he'd just lifted from the wood burning oven.
I have one complaint. As a Londoner I am used to having chilli sauce on my kebabs. That's how it's always been. You order the kebab across the counter and the man asks 'Chilli sauce, salad, everything my friend?' No chilli sauce in Turkey! I asked everywhere. The Turkish cooks I spoke to consider this to be an Arabic phenomenon, and seemed much amused by Anglo-Turk kebabs. Perhaps I will take some London kebab cooks over to Turkey and show them how to do it properly...with chilli sauce.