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Saturday, 30 March 2013

Culinary Destination - Istanbul

Press to learn more about Spice Bazaar

"What started off as a Culinary Destination - a search for the perfect bite, the perfect eating experience - and a specific research objective, turned out to be a journey inwards through the inner reflections of outward massiveness and observation of self in the company of millions of strangers, with whom - at that specific moment - I shared a monumental piece of history!

What struck me the most was the living proof of the folk I grew up learning, merely by being told. One, that like all abstract history, you believe by faith. But there it was: staring me in the eye, reminding me of what I had accidentally forgotten! Showing me - quite literally - the greatness, the vastness and the inner most of our make up! I saw it and heard it, in the stillness of its time enduring architecture, the time acquired wisdom of its ancient to contemporary art, and in the beauty of its gracious, equal embrace of old and modern - without a hint of departure from destination to another; but rather as a natural continuation. Absolutely Marvelous, and turned out tremendously significant to myself!" 

                                                            - The note I jotted down on my way back to the airport.

Press to learn more about Hagia Sophia

I can safely say that Istanbul had changed me. On many levels, it talked to me through soliloquies in the shape of continuous floating thoughts in my mesmerised mind and my suddenly most peaceful soul. I will keep the details of those thoughts to myself, for now, but will sum it all up with: beginning, purpose and direction.

Regardless of my wish to keep personal the details of this trip, I do recommend that you go on that journey. Go to Istanbul. Take it all in, and allow the city to reveal itself to you, and guide through without the interruption of preconceptions, generally accepted knowledge or personal opinions. Go, unconditionally. Give space for the city to tell you its own story.

Spoken words always come with connotations, therefore do listen to the stillness. Because in Istanbul, the most meaning is in what you see, not what your hear.

The beauty of food is that it puts it all into perspective, allowing you to live it, experience it and further connect with "it".

PS I normally share with you the details of my culinary experiences, however - and because this culinary trip to Istanbul was a research trip for my upcoming cookbook - I will leave it to the pictures in this link to tell you more about the food and the food scene in Istanbul. This trip was just an introduction and I am definitely going back for a more indepth look at the cuisine, the culture and arts. I loved it this much and hugely recommend it.

Here some photos....

Making fresh Lollipops

Making Fresh breads and pastries

Street food is still quality food

Making of Lahmajun

For more of my trip photos ( food, restaurants, and Cultural Istanbul) click the links below

Relative Links

Would love nothing more than hearing from you, so do get in touch before you leave :) 
Have a delicious Spring Holidays everyone ...

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Perfection & Motherhood - Grapefruit & Feta Cheese Salad with Pomegranate Vinaigrette

This is the presentation when a bit of molecular science is involved in making salad
Perfection is in the eye of the beholder

When it comes to food, the most satisfying eating experience is one that is full of flavour and texture. In terms of flavour, the palate has 4 main sensory spots. One for sweet, one for bitter, another for salt and one for sour (I will leave the umami out for the purpose of making my point). That is essentially what we taste, either as individual flavours or in combinations. The most satisfying flavour is one that engulfs your mouth with all four flavours, in turn, leaving you feeling satisfied (as not one flavour is missing).

When it comes to texture, there is smooth, crunchy, creamy, grainy and runny, all of which when mixed offer the perfect bite. Give anyone a high concentration of any one flavour or texture the experience will not be so perfect, in fact, it can become off setting! For instance, munch on pure sugar and you will find that you really can't. Despite sweet being the most preferable flavour, when food is overly sweet the palate will reject it. The same applies to salt, sour and obviously bitter. In the same effect, if you eat pure crunchy your palate will beg for a creamy relief, and when pure creamy, the palate will ask for something to crunch... Yeah, Ok, we all know what perfection is in terms of food, but we sometimes forget that perfection is the same everywhere. If we are looking for perfect, then we must understand that perfect consists of bitter, sweet, salty and sour. It is smooth, crunchy, runny, creamy and grainy. Perfect can never be endlessly creamy and sweet!