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!
Nice pictures! Istanbul is high up on my to-visit list. I actually got to try lokum 2 weeks ago; a Turkish classmate brought some for our Italian class to try. That was the first I’d ever heard/tasted of it!
Exceptional photos ! I’d like to see more!
The pictures are amazing! You just heightened my desire to go to Turkey!
Dad's of San Diego says
which one did Sante like?
What a great trip! I’ve never been to Turkey but hope to visit one day as it’s just a short 45-minute ferry ride to Bodrum from the Greek island of Kalymnos which my family comes from.
Lokum (or Loukoumia in Greek) are a Greek favorite as well. I’ve tried many of the flavors but love the rose flavored ones with chunks of almonds inside. I’ve never seen the pistachio flavor though and would love, love, love to try it.
I also like Halva, something Greeks eat much of as well, especially during Lent. My favorite is the almond version.
I went to Turkey in March of 2007 and I fondly remember all of these things. I remember my first bite of Turkish Delight…WOW! I think I ate the whole box in one sitting….!!
Very fun. I’ve had Halva, which I love. Haven’t heard of Turkish Delight or Lokum though, but it sounds delish. Turkey is high on my list of places to go!
I would have voted for all in one post. Wasn’t sure if I could respond on twitter if we both don’t follow each other (still learning about twitter).
Amazing photos! This post leaves me wanting to see more :)
Lovely! More photos, please!
We were in Turkey same time last year. The lokum was SO good! And I loved the street side gozlemes! Love your pictures :)
Hi Sara, I visited Turkey in 1997 and it was THE highlight of all my travel experiences…fantastic place, your photos are wonderful. I loved the Spice Bazaar and the lokum and halva were just stunning….and the pistachios, the soft dried figs and apricots….the olives….OH MY!!! I would love to participate in World Nutella Day 2009 and I am wondering if there is an html code for the Nutella Button so that I can put it under my badges on my blog. I cannot copy & paste the picture. We have to have a code otherwise it doesnt work :o( Thanx so much xxx
nyc/caribbean ragazza says
beautiful photos as usual.
I think five photos a post is a good number. You can always suggest that your fans check your flickr page for more photos.
erin :: the olive notes says
sara, WOW! these photos are amazing, and the experience sounds so fun. I ‘m still catching up on blogs since I got back…but happy to find your posts about Turkey. Istanbul has been at the top of my ‘must-go’ list for a while now.
Fantastic pictures, thanks for sharing.
I’m looking forward to the second part of your post.
Wonderful pictures! I am planning a trip to Istanbul in spring and these photos really make me look forward to my stay!
Thanks for sharing!
Nice pictures. Next time I’m in Istanbul, I shall have to try Haci Bekir. I make an effort to try as many sekerleme places, baklavacis, etc., as I can, but I haven’t tried this place. IN part, that’s probably because on my second trip I fell in love with Hafiz Mustafa, also in Bahcekapi on Hamidiye Cad, right behind Yeni Cami. That’s another old family-run business, although it’s only been around since 1864. It’s great, though, so I highly recommend trying it out, especially for candied nuts and fruits. They make great tavuk gogsu, too.
Nice pictures……..I love Istanbul. I’ve been there a lot of times, as my husband Ahmet is from Izmir.
The food there is incredible……especially the Doners. I’m a foodie so basically I hang out in the Egyptian bazar or any Bazzars with the fresh fruits and veggies. …..love Turkey. When we retire we plan to live 6 months there and 6 months here in canada.
Thanks for your blog.
I am obsessed with Turkish Delight since childhood since that’s what the White Witch uses to lure Edmund to the dark side in the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. The only time I had it, it was some fake, processed goop from some US candy company, and my heart was broken. Now that you’ve explained what it really is, I can’t wait to try the real thing!