From the land down under to the land of the turkey

turkish foodHaving just been in the land down under and also Turkey our food and travel blog started to take off after all the fantastic foods and places we treated ourselves to while we were in those two places. While we were in Austrlia we attended a great workshop about travel blogging and great photography that couold be applied to such a medium. While we were there we met a lot of great and interesting people and made some newly aquired friends along the way.

Then we were off to the land of Turkey. The vast majority of the time that we have spent there has been in the south and eastern areas of the country. Whilst there we had to deal with a pending dead line coming up for the blog. It was a draft that we needed to write for a new up and coming book that we need to release for the publishers within a specific amount of time available to us. This was creating a pressure that is good on one hand because it is making us work more efficiently. However, we would liek to explored the Turkey country and food a little more closely. But not to worry.

Instead of get worried about this we diefintitely know how to make the most of it. The idea is to live like the locals do and not really as travellers. Our work allows us to emulate this. So we would head off when time permitted to go to the markets, eateries, and palces where all the food and culture is to meet all of the wonderful people we could before going home or to a cafe to do some more of our work. Only brief exploration was needed though as my scap book filled up very easily with great recipes and dishes that ended up being way too much for me to be able to publish in this here article. This is why it will be presented in multiple parts over the next few weeks or so.

First we alighted from the capital in Istanbul over to the south east in Gazianstep. We found that the best way of getting around there was just simply to hire a car. This took all of about a thousand miles and without accounting for all the breaks we took along the way it probably took us all of twenty two days of driving on the road.

Initially, we stoped off at a place called Sanliurfa. This is a contemporary city that has a plain non interesting look to it at first. However, it has a lot of homes that are built by hand using sand stone. This gives it a real historic flavouring to the architecure of the city. Then we had a look at a really interesting market place.

The people of this city love their isot which is a red flavoursome pepper. It is dried and ground and can be enjoyed in a lot of mexican type dishes such paela. It can be used to make the red coloured base flavour that is often worked into such dishes. The spanish often use this pepper to perfection as do the Turkish as we would discover. After it is picked it is taken to an oven in the middle of the town ship where it is cooked down. This city is awesome in that it always smells like a nice bbq.

One of the best bbq kebab type foods we had there was liver on a skewer. This is cooked over the town bbq and served with the isot on the top or the side. It was really tasty contrary to popular expectation about liver. We had it for lunch, dinner and then again at breakfast. We really couldn’t have enough.

We recommend this place. Stay tuned for our next installment.

Get some really nicely prepared caffeine with the various coffee beverages of Hanoi Vietnam

vietnamese iced coffeeWhat makes Vietnam so awesome of a place to go to is that you can get a really nicely brewed coffee of some sort or variety for the cost of only one us dollar just about anywhere in the country. Despite the dirt, grime, dodgy locals, the smells and the chaos of the country, a great tasting coffee is always very close at hand.

It’s just so easy to drink when you are there. This is because it is so cheap, everywhere and actually very nice. They know how to make their coffee. Probably the ideal way of having it there is in the iced variety. This is due to the ongoing heat of the country. The iced coffees just go down an absolute treat. Given these factors it is just so easy to have multiple coffees throughout the day.

while in Hanoi we made two great coffee discoveries. One of them is egg coffe and the other one was the wonderful yogurt coffee variety. We never even considered drinking coffee in such a manner until Hannoi. While we were over at the Hanoir cooking and food centre we were taught about these variations that changed our lives. The tour guide there took us off to sample some of the street food that the city is more than famous for. We were taken to a place called Cafe Pho where the front of the shop is a place where tourists can buy things for loved ones in memory of the trip. However, out the back and on the roof is a cafe where they serve amazing coffee variations all day long.

While we were there we tasted egg coffee for the first time. This is coffee essence that is whipped together with raw egg. It makes what could be best described as coffee custard which is creamy and very nice indeed. Locals in the area have been drinking it for a very long time. It helps a lot of the people there wake up and get ready for a long day of work. It is kind of similar to eggnog only it is used to carry coffee smoothly into the gut rather than brandy or the like. however, nutmeg and caramel and chocolate are also both used. It is really partially a sweet desert like beverage and also partially a coffee drink. It is kind of similar to egg based teas one can find in Indonesia. you can actually get it either as an iced drink or the hot version. We found that the hot version is better because the cold one doesn’t dilute some of the ingredients as well.

Then after that we went to lunch some where else at another pho style of cafe lunch place in Hanoi. This is where we got to try yogurt coffee. In Vietnam the mixture of these two ingredients is more recent than the coffee with the egg. However, it has taken off some what as it has been taken up by people throughout the entire city.

The yogurt used has been sweetned up a bit for flavour. If they used the bitter version it would not be as nice. Turns out that it was a really nice combination of flavours. The yogurt they use is sweet so in combination with the bitter overtones of the coffee it makes for really nice drinking indeed. While we were in the city we kept going back to this cafe to order this very item which we just couldn’t get enough of it is fair to say.