I was stuck in my Greek Island cruise photo album again. Here is a second post down memory lane, with a traditional recipe, from one of my past trips. If you missed my first post on Boureki dish from the island of Crete click here. One stop on the cruise itinerary was in Kusadasi, which is is the Asia Minor in Turkey. I like to emphasize the Asia Minor part because this was my only time (yet) in the actually Asian continent. Unfortunately we were there only three and a half hours. I opted for a half day excursion of the ancient city Ephesus. Ephesus contains the largest collection of Roman ruins in the eastern Mediterranean, a really impressive site to see. I have included a few picture in this post that I took.
I did have a little bit of time to explore the city after and observe the locals. You will see men sit, talk politics and sip their tea all day long. It is the daily beverage of choice in Turkey. It is very common when shopping to be offered a glass of Turkish Apple Tea during the bargaining process. How civilized! Shopping is an experience, especially in the souk! You will be hounded like you cannot believe but keep in mind this is part of the experience. Take it with humor and just be very firm when you say NO. Shop keepers wait for you outside their stores. If you do go into a store it can turn into a very pleasant cultural exchange should a conversation strike up with the owner.
The top of the list item to buy during you holidays to turkey is a Turkish carpet. The excursion ended with a carpet shop visit. I knew this was a ‘cruisline approved’ place, a bit more expensive but trustworthy, and I really wanted a Turkish carpet. During the presentation several employees were present, and carpet after carpet was being rolled open with flair and grandiosity. I spotted my 3×5 ish future carpet and started to bargain…Apple Tea in hand. All I remember is that our tour guide said we should pay 30-35 percent of the start price. My process was an interesting dance of numbers and I got to my ideal price of around 50% off (I think I paid about $250). This even included shipping to my home in Canada which was awesome. If I was there for a few days I would have taken the time to haggle more, walk away, come back..the whole bargain dance.
Ξ Elma Cayi: Turkish Apple Tea Ξ
2 red apples, leave unpeeled and quarter them
1 unpeeled orange, quartered
1 cinnamon stick
1 liter water
2 cloves – whole
honey to taste (I did not add any)
1. Add all the ingredients together into a saucepan. Bring to the boil. Once at boiling point, leave the ingredients to simmer until cooked.
2. Strain the liquid in a pitcher and push gently the cooked fruits with a back of spoon to remove the liquid completely.
3. Pour in tea glasses and add honey to taste.
This is a picture of the carpet 12 years after I bought it, still in pristine condition. I treasure it to this day. My knotted wool carpet is from Bergama, specifically from the Yagci Bedir nomad tribe, which consist mainly of two colors, the dark reds and blues. The style of my carpet is the kind a bride to be would make for her future husband: apparently it is filled with symbols of fecundity. Have not married a husband yet so cannot test the fertility theory.