Postcard from

Izmir

Turkey

Turkey Flag
Izmir Stamp
Welcome to one of the most beautiful cities in the world – Izmir, Turkey! This ancient city is located on the Aegean coast and is famous for its gorgeous sunsets, stunning beaches, and thriving culture. However, what sets Izmir apart from other Turkish cities is its delicious food culture. From savory kebabs to sweet deserts, Izmir is a paradise for foodies. In this blog post, we are going to explore the fascinating history of Izmir and take a gastronomic journey to discover the best food this city has on offer.
Situated at the crossroads of history, Izmir’s narrative unfolds over an impressive expanse of 8,500 years, embodying a captivating blend of cultural influences that have left an indelible mark on its identity. Founded by the Greeks during the 11th century, Izmir flourished under the auspices of the Greek Empire, a testament to its strategic importance in the ancient world. However, the city’s trajectory took a pivotal turn during the Turkish War of Independence in 1922, marking the transition of power and heralding a new chapter in its storied history. Wandering through the hallowed precincts of Izmir’s historical district, Kaleiçi, one is transported back in time. This living testament to antiquity showcases the city’s architectural evolution with remnants of ancient ruins, labyrinthine stone streets that echo with the whispers of bygone eras, and opulent Ottoman homes standing proudly, each bearing witness to centuries of history. It’s within the atmospheric embrace of Kaleiçi that Izmir’s ancient heritage comes to life, inviting contemporary explorers to immerse themselves in the legacy of this remarkable city.
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In the realm of Izmir’s culinary delights, Turkish cuisine emerges as a splendid fusion of Arabic, Mediterranean, and Persian influences, creating a diverse and vibrant gastronomic tapestry. Among the city’s culinary treasures, the renowned İzmir köfte takes center stage—succulent spiced lamb and beef meatballs, delicately crafted and traditionally accompanied by a delectable ensemble of garlicky yogurt, steaming bulgur, tomato sauce, and pickled turnips. Another culinary sensation is the famed kumru sandwich, an epitome of gastronomic perfection—a crispy bread vessel generously packed with a tantalizing medley of meat, cheese, tomatoes, arugula, and pickles, delivering a harmonious blend of flavours and textures that captivates the palate.
For those with a penchant for sweets, Izmir emerges as a paradise of indulgence. The city proudly boasts a delectable array of desserts that are sure to tantalize any sweet tooth. Among the most celebrated are the iconic Baklava and Turkish Delight, renowned for their rich flavours and intricate textures. These sweet delights are a testament to the artistry embedded in Turkish confectionery. Adding to the sweet symphony is the Melomakarona, a beloved dessert with roots tracing back to the Anatolian region of Turkey. Particularly popular during Christmas, these soft and spongy delights are fashioned from semolina, infused with the warmth of honey, and adorned with a generous topping of finely chopped walnuts. The result is a symphony of flavours and textures that not only satiates sweet cravings but also transports the taste buds to a realm of culinary bliss. Indulging in Izmir’s diverse and delightful dessert offerings is an experience that promises to leave a lasting, sweet impression on every visitor.
Melomakarona

Recipe From Turkey

Melomakarona Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 250g plain flour
  • 100g fine semolina
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 150g unsalted butter, softened
  • 75ml olive oil
  • 75g caster sugar
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 60ml orange juice

For the syrup:

  • 200g honey
  • 200g water
  • 200g granulated sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 orange peel

Instructions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 180°C (350°F) and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together the plain flour, semolina, baking soda, ground cinnamon, and ground cloves.
  3. In a separate large bowl, cream together the softened butter, olive oil, and caster sugar until light and fluffy.
  4. Add the orange zest and orange juice to the wet ingredients, mixing well.
  5. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing until a soft dough forms.
  6. Take small portions of the dough and shape them into oval or round cookies. Place them on the prepared baking tray.
  7. Bake in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes or until the cookies are golden brown.
  8. While the cookies are baking, prepare the syrup. In a saucepan, combine the honey, water, granulated sugar, cinnamon stick, and orange peel. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 5-7 minutes until it thickens slightly.
  9. Once the cookies are out of the oven, immediately drizzle the warm syrup over them.
  10. Allow the Melomakarona to absorb the syrup for at least a couple of hours before serving.
In conclusion, Izmir, with its rich history and fabulous food culture, is a must-visit destination for anyone who loves to experience new and exciting things. From its narrow stone streets to ancient ruins to the fantastic cuisine, Izmir has something for everybody. The city’s blend of delectable dishes, sweet treats, and remarkable history makes it worth a visit for any food or history lover. We hope this blog post gave you some insight into the cultural and culinary treasures of Izmir. Happy travelling and eating!