Kei Chiba / Marubeni Corporation Istanbul Main Branch
The city of Istanbul, where I live, is a metropolis with a population of over ten million, featuring many aspects including historical architecture dating back to its time as the thriving city of Byzantine, an exotic Middle Eastern atmosphere, and stylish European streets.
Turning to popular guidebooks for the highlights of Istanbul, I will introduce some of the dishes of Istanbul here. Turkish cuisine ranks as one of the top three cuisines of the world, alongside French and Chinese, but there are plenty of delicious cuisines in addition to Turkish cuisine and kebabs and the like to satisfy your hunger as well as your palate.
This time I would like to introduce separately the Top Three Turkish Meat Dishes among these myriad dishes.
• The first dish is chicken wings (kanat in Turkish).
There is a tasty chicken wing cuisine restaurant in Istanbul, and, while it is a bit far from the city center, by the airport, it is truly delicious!
The menu consists solely of regular or spicy chicken wings, but as these go perfectly with EFES beer, or with raki (distilled liquor), you can gobble two or three plates full.
• The second dish is Turkish hamburg steak (köfte in Turkish).
For those who don’t prefer fatty yakiniku meat…let’s give köfte a try. These are the so-called meatballs, made of minced mutton with spices kneaded in and grilled. Famous köfte restaurants have patrons lining up in front. Best enjoyed with a bit of lemon juice squeezed on top.
• The third dish is Cağ kebabı.
These kebabs are not chicken skewers, but rather mutton skewers. It is common to see mutton raised vertically and rotated to cut meat for kebabs, but turning the spit horizontally is a characteristic in cutting meat for Cağ kebabı, which are served by putting the meat cuts on iron skewers. The distinctive smell and fatty quality of mutton whet your appetite, but if you eat ten of these one after another, they will weigh heavily on your stomach the next morning. Still, they say there are many kebab fiends in Turkey who can put away fifty or sixty of these mutton kebabs!
It is a good idea to eat Turkish cuisine and seafood when you visit Istanbul, but in the end, it is sure enough the meat! I urge herbivore young men and carnivore young women alike to come and get your fill of the Turkish meat dishes.
Marubeni Group magazine "M-SPIRIT" VOL.63 (May, 2011)