When I discovered that our holiday in Turkey spilled into the month of Ramazan, I was very happy. Each ethnicity of muslims have their own special food at Ramazan, and I was eager to discover Turkey’s. On the first night of the month we were in Kusadasi. Walking along the sea front, looking for a place for dinner we came across a lively and pleasant restaurant. We later realized that it was part of a big Turkish chain.
The menu advertised an Iftari dinner. Could I do justice to it? Travel is always an adventure, and you have to jump in. It was the first of Ramazan too. I ordered my three course meal. It came with a glass of the thick buttermilk which is called ayran in Turkey. The first dish was the usual platter which breaks a fast. There’s always a date, some nuts and more dried fruit, olives, some fresh vegetables. I was disappointed that the platter did not have any cheese; I’d begun to expect a Kashar (cow’s milk cheese) or Tulum (goat’s milk cheese) on every meze platter.
A little break, and then the çorba arrived. It was a tomato soup, served with croutons and grated Kashar. There was a long break before the main plate arrived, giving me enough time to regret ordering such a large meal. The main plate was a tremendous serving of kababs over a lavaş (pronounced lavash, meaning a nan). I would become very fond of the seared vegetables that accompany a kabab in Turkey. There is also always a serving of chopped garden salad on the plate with it.
When I eventuially finished the meal, I realized that it was difficult to work your way through a meal like this unless you had fasted during the day. The çay was needed at the end of such a meal.