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January 18, 2017

Çiğköftecisi Orhan Usta: Heat Merchant

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Istanbul -- Visitors to Istanbul's iconic Spice Bazaar encounter a place packed wall-to-wall with overzealous shopkeepers selling everything from saffron to sumac assembled in rows of majestic pyramids at slightly inflated prices.Read more
Istanbul -- Visitors to Istanbul's iconic Spice Bazaar encounter a place packed wall-to-wall with overzealous shopkeepers selling everything from saffron to sumac assembled in rows of majestic pyramids at slightly inflated prices.

But for our money, the only spices worth a damn are found just outside in a humbler setting. Crammed behind a tiny kiosk perched in front of a fast-food restaurant that flanks one of the bazaar's entrances is the endearing Orhan usta. The loveable 65-year-old is a veritable master of çig köfte and a connoisseur of the spicy red pepper flakes cultivated in his hometown of Gaziantep, the southeastern city considered by many to be Turkey's culinary capital.Read more
January 16, 2017

Hasegawa Saketen: For Goodness Sake

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Tokyo -- Sake is a very deeply ingrained part of Japanese culture and its function is everything from ceremonial to social. It might be surprising then to know that there are remarkably few establishments in Tokyo dedicated to simple sake tasting. Read more