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Four seas (Black Sea, Marmara Sea, Aegean Sea and the Mediterranean) surround Anatolia and the residents of the coastal cities are experts in preparing fish. Winter is the premium season for fish, as many species migrate from the Black Sea to warmer waters and reach their mature sizes.
Every month offers a new delicacy of fish at its prime, served along with certain complimenting vegetables. For example, the best Bonito is eaten with arugula and red onions, Blue Fish with lettuce, Turbot with Kos lettuce. Large Bonito may be poached with celery root. Mackerel is stuffed with chopped onions before grilling, while summer fish, which are younger and drier, are poached with tomatoes and green peppers, or fried. Bay leaves always accompany both poached and grilled fish.
Grilling fish over charcoal, where the fish juices hit the embers and envelope the fish with the smoke, is perhaps the most delicious way of eating it, as it brings out the delicate flavours. This is also why the grilled fish and bread sold by vendors on their boats are so tasty.

"Hamsi" (the fish in this picture) is the prince of all fish known to Turks: the Black Sea people know forty one ways of making hamsi including hamsi borek, hamsi pilaf and hamsi dessert! Another common seafood are deep fried mussels, poached, or as a mussel dolma with rice and mussel pilaf.
Along the Aegean, octopus and calamary are added to the meze spread. The best places for fish are in the fish restaurants and taverns. After being seated, it is customary to visit the kitchen or the display to pick your fish and discuss the way you want it to be prepared. The price of the fish is also disclosed at this time. Then you swing by the meze display and order the ones you want. So the evening begins, sipping raki in between sampling of meze, watching the sunset and slowly setting the pace for conversation that will continue hours into the right. Drinking is never a hurried, loud, boisterous or a lonely affair. It is a communal, gently festive and cultured way of entertainment...



...for iraklis the gavros, who is going to be the latest member of the dead fish club very soon...



...taken in the historical market of kadikoy, where we had a photo session together with sakis, valentinos and burcu...

(sakis, valentinos ve burcu ile dolaşıp fotoğraf çektiğimiz kadıköy çarşısından...)

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Additional Photos by korkut bostanci (bostankorkulugu) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3397 W: 718 N: 8252] (42832)
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