Eating my way through Izmir

By now you will know that I love markets. I also love eating. These two great loves are a perfect fit, and Turkey a perfect place to enjoy both in abundance.

Travelling without a schedule or list of must-visit spots is less about being footloose and fancy free and more about going with the flow and trusting that the universe will guide you in the right direction. Meeting Merin at the yoga farm was exactly as it should have been because I’ve found a member of my soul family, and have found a home with her and her mom, Dilek.

I’ve spent the last five days living with these wonderful women in their home in Izmir, learning about unconditional and limitless Turkish hospitality and generousity. I’ve also eaten my way through a variety of Dilek’s dishes, each one more delicious than the last. She is a fantastic cook, but also adapted her menus to suit my vegan diet.

Here is why my pants feel a little tighter at the end of this week…
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Breakfast: boyoz (round pastry for which Izmir is well known), gevrek (sesame seed bread ring), Çilek Reçeli (strawberry jam – homemade), zeytin (olives), domates (tomatoes) and a red pepper, tomato and walnut spread.

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Thirst-quenching atom, a glass of fresh juice for 1-2TL.

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If only I could tap my heels three times and visit Izmir’s bazaar for my weekly shop. Oh, the wonders!

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Tea drinking is an institution in Turkey. A glass of çay can easily turn into two or three as you chat with friends and neighbours and watch the world go by.

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Sesame seed bread rolled with tahini, called çörek. This is my favourite so far – and one ring goes a really long way.

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Raki, an aniseed liquor, is far more than a drink. It is an opportunity to gather friends around a table, eat delectable mezze and chat and laugh late into the night. Pour a shot or two of raki into a tallish glass, add water and then the ice (the order is important). Cheers everyone at the table, as well as those not present. Drink slowly. Wait for the chatter and giggles to set in.

In between all the eating, Merin and I wandered around Izmir a little.

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This beautiful tiger-striped hound guarded us as we watched the sun set over the bay.

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