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January 9, 2019

Balmerkez: The Honey Lab

By Lorenza Mussini
Istanbul -- Wandering around the neighborhood of Çarşamba, home to a famous weekly market and close to the sprawling Fatih Mosque complex, we get the distinct impression that this area is honey central: the streets are lined with shops selling the sweet nectar, particularly stuff coming from the Black Sea region.Read more
Istanbul -- Wandering around the neighborhood of Çarşamba, home to a famous weekly market and close to the sprawling Fatih Mosque complex, we get the distinct impression that this area is honey central: the streets are lined with shops selling the sweet nectar, particularly stuff coming from the Black Sea region. “This area is full of honey sellers,” Aslan confirms on a cold November afternoon after we took refuge in his store, Balmerkez, “but there is no place like this.”

He’s right – there’s something about his storefront that we found particularly appealing on that cold day. Perhaps it’s because Aslan’s little shop looks more like an atelier than a commercial outlet. Pots, containers, glass jars and wicker baskets are stacked high on the shelves – a honey lab may be a more fitting description.Read more
January 8, 2019

Pick Your Pickle in Istanbul

By Culinary Backstreets
BACKSTREET FEED -- Our Born on the Bosphorus walk in Istanbul pays a visit to one of the city’s many shops that sells exclusively pickled goods with incredible variety. What will it be? Pickled garlic, sour green plums, okra or one of the many other options?Feed more
December 13, 2018

Best Bites 2018: Istanbul

By
Istanbul -- The past year in Istanbul seemed to be dominated by discussions of financial woes. Amid an ongoing economic crisis, the lira shed half of its value between January and August, resulting in a spike in prices of even the most basic staples. Everything seemed expensive in relation to Turkish wages, which dramatically declined in value literally overnight. Read more