Istanbul.

Istanbul has been one of the most intriguing places I have ever visited so far. It is the largest city in Turkey with around 14 million people living there and the worlds fifth-most-popular tourist destination! I went in 2012 with my parents for an entire week to explore this fascinating city.

I had been wanting to visit Turkey for quite some time especially because a lot of my classmates from culinary school were Turkish! They had told me about Turkish cuisine and everything sounded so enticing and appetizing. Here are some dishes I tried in Istanbul including modern and traditional Turkish foods.

Wedding Soup with Lamb and Baby Vegetables.

Wedding Soup with Lamb and Baby Vegetables.

Seafood Soup with Coconut Foam.

Seafood Soup with Coconut Foam.

Duo of Veggies.

Duo of Veggies.

Phyllo Pastry with Turkish Cheese.

Phyllo Pastry with Turkish Cheese.

Stuffed Grape Leaves with Minced Meat and Sour Cherry Sauce.

Stuffed Grape Leaves with Minced Meat and Sour Cherry Sauce.

Red Mullet Salad.

Red Mullet Salad.

White Truffle Risotto with Beef.

White Truffle Risotto with Beef.

Lamb with Eggplant and Wild Mushroom Gravy.

Lamb with Eggplant and Wild Mushroom Gravy.

Duck with Trio of Vegetable Purées and Kumquat Confit.

Duck with Trio of Vegetable Purées and Kumquat Confit.

Dessert.

Dessert.

Dessert.

Dessert.

Turkish Pastries.

Turkish Pastries.

Spices.

Spices.

One of My Favorite Fruits!

One of My Favorite Fruits!

Could Never Have Enough Eggplant...mmmm!

Could Never Have Enough Eggplant…mmmm!

Squid Ink Couscous.

Squid Ink Couscous.

Dolmas.

Dolmas.

Lamb Chops.

Lamb Chops.

Grilled Octopus.

Grilled Octopus.

Street Sandos with Fresh Mackerel and Veggies! Delish!

Street Sandos with Fresh Mackerel and Veggies, Delish!

Istanbul has been one of my favorite cities for food for several reasons. I love seafood and everyday I ate delicious fresh fish and grilled octopus (one of my absolute favorite types of seafood). I also love eggplant, which I think is a totally underused vegetable, and Turkish cuisine has sooo many dishes with it! Since I’ve made so many friends from Turkey over the last four years, I know I’ll be back to this captivating city and hopefully to other parts of the country as well.

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