I was booked onto the Taste of the City tour on a Monday morning - and I was lucky to be the only one. I expected lots of people but I guess it's a well kept secret, so far!
Betul Basak was my guide, and we had a really great day together, exploring the cuisine of Turkey in both knowledge and through our tastebuds. This also involved lots of close contact with the Turkish people, sellers, traders, makers, cooks, chefs and waiters. It's a real insight to the culture and the way things are done in this part of the world. We had a relaxed breakfast with a variety of foods, plus bread that we picked up from a local artisan bakery; we then tasted baklava in the original 'mother of all baklava houses'. Walking to the Spice market we explored all the stalls, stopping at Betul's favourite cheese, olive, pickle and fish stalls, dropping in to the kitchen supply shops, checking out the dried veggies hanging outside the spice kiosks....then in the covered part of the market we spent time drinking teas and tasting various products from pistachios to golden berries, and discussing saffron and pomegranates.....before heading onwards to eat lunch near Taksim Square at Bayvore, including a spinach/omelette/pastry/anchovy thing which was delicious! All ended at the Manda Batmaz coffee house where we had a rich, chocolatey Turkish coffee.
I recommend this tour and especially my guide, Betul Basak.
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