I have a lot of pictures from my trip to Istanbul. It’s organizing them into posts that’s the hard part. Thanks to Twitter, I sent out a Tweet if 13 photos are too many in one post, and luckily some of my followers responded immediately:
coconutlime @rosso 2 parts sound good, i don’t think people like super long posts
foodieguide @rosso I think it depends on how much text there is to space out the photos. I like a good balance of text & photos, looks better visually
lucullian @rosso it depends on what the post is about, a travel post is supposed to have a lot of pics
romephotoblog @rosso yeah i would go with 2 posts. i try to limit myself to 5 photos max but it also depends on size & how much text
dianakuan @rosso Depends on how big photos are. If big, good to break up; some of us have really slow internet connections.
KitchenParade @rosso Two only if the “topics” break into two as well. Just more pictures … not worth two posts. Put extras on Flickr maybe?
andiamo @rosso I don’t think 13 pics is too many in a blog post, esp if they’re all related & there isn’t much text. People love pictures
So the majority of them thought it should be broken up into 2 posts. Of course, I’m curious what you think, too. Let me know in the comments!
This post is part 1 about my trip to the Spice Bazaar in Istanbul, Turkey. I had heard from many people that I needed to go here to see all the foodstuffs, and it’s definitely a spectacle to be seen. The Gran Bazaar, in comparison, carries mostly non-food items like clothing, jewelry and of course, carpets.
You may have heard of “Turkish Delight” before. Have you seen it? Eaten it? Turkish Delight’s real name is Lokum, or often spelled Loukoum as seen in the photo below in the Egyptian / Spice Bazaar.
Though Turkish Delight was only introduced to the Western world in the 19th century, they had been making lokum for several centuries prior, some claim even as early as the 15th century!
What is lokum?
Lokum is made from starch and sugar, with other flavorings mixed in. It has a jelly, but not quite gummy, consistency, that can get sticky if not for its sugar / cornstarch outer coating. Fruit and nut varieties are very popular, and the flavors are usually natural and not hybrids or experimental (i.e., no blue raspberry). Some of the most popular flavors are: rose, mint, cinnamon, ginger, lemon, and other fruit flavors like pineapple. The nut flavors are my favorite, like hazelnut, pistachio, walnut and almond, and m hands-down winner is definitely pistachio. Whole pieces of nut are mixed into the lokum.
These pieces of pistachio lokum are a sight to see, and inside it was more of a marshmallow center of sugar/milk.
Helva, or Halva, is another Turkish sweet that is similar to lokum, but made with sugar syrup and sesame oil. These tall columns of halva or helva are shaven off according to how much you would like. This stall owner went to particular care to put the Turkish flag on the top level, in the pomegranate and hazelnut layer.
Particularly appealing to the eye are these rolls whose name I did not catch, but I believe they are made similarly to the lokum.
Cenk from Cafe Fernando suggests Ali Muhiddin Haci Bekir or Haci Bekir as the place to get lokum, and I heartily agree! While it’s not as flashy as the bazaar, the lokum is high quality and delicious! Make sure you try the lokum with the clotted cream center – my friends went crazy over it!
I suggest buying a few kilos from the Bazaar to take into the office, and going to Haci Bekir for yourself!
There are several Haci Bekir shops in Istanbul. This shop was Bahçekapı, near the historic center, and not too far from the Spice Bazaar. It was in 1777 in Bahçekapı that the owner opened his shop and started producing lokum and other sweets.
Hamidiye Cad. No. 81 34110 Bahçekapı / İstanbul
Tel. +90 2125228543
Fax. 212 513 04 19
There were a lot of other delicious-looking things at the Egyptian / Spice Bazaar, which I’ll talk about next!