Posted by: gargupie | August 9, 2009

Turkey Summer Trip Part 2 – Carb Overload

Here’s an SAT linguistic question for you –

As rice: Chinese, ____:Turkish
a) rice
b) noodle
c) bread
d) potatoes

The answer….C!

Yes. Turkish people eat bread as other Asian population treats rice. Bread is their major source of carbohydrate. Whether it’s paired with jam, cheese, or honey for breakfast, or envelope around sliced meat as a sandwich for lunch, or eating with kebaps for dinner, bread is the unanimous starch in every meal. Rice (aka pilaf) is also offered and served in restaurants or mobile food vendors, but the rice is always seasoned with margarine and salt, which is very untypical for other Asian cuisines as plain rice is always, well, just plain (unless it’s stir-fried).

I actually had my best bread in a smaller city called Izmir. I think it’s because most bread was baked on premise, whereas in Istanbul, the bread is probably produced in a large bakery and delivered to stores and hotels. I try to maintain a healthy diet, but as bad as ‘white’ bread is, I just couldn’t resist the crusty French bread that’s comped for every table meal. The bread is rarely toasted (as in the US), but because it’s always freshly made, the exterior is always still hard and crusty (the way I like it) and the innard (the doughy section) is soft and fluffy. Since I enjoy the crust more than the inside, I’ve this pet-peeve of just sabotaging the crust, while leaving the white inside behind in the bread basket.

Pitas are another option, but mostly only at places that create Turkish pizzas. The pitas are much like Afghan bread, which you can buy in Middle Eastern stores here. The crust is usually too charred for me, but I still enjoy the bread, which I’ll explain why in the next post. I think I’ve eaten more bread than I do at home. I do miss rice, especially brown rice, but after awhile, after much walking around, bread is really a great source to replenish lost energy.

What are your favorite ways to dress your bread? Recently, I’ve been spreading creamy avocado on and before that, it was with semi-frozen yogurt on hot and toasted grainy bread.
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