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Friday, December 3, 2010

Part II: The Drinks of Istanbul: The Others...

Ayran, similar to the salt lassi I wrote about here, is a refreshing, healthy, cheap yogurt-based drink available all over  Istanbul--in the restaurants, in the streets.

Part II:  The Drinks of Istanbul:  The Others...

Salty yogurt, turnip juice, exotic teas,  healthy powdered orchid powder with cinnamon, delicious thick coffee, a more-than-respectable beer, very good wine...Istanbul has it all.

See Part I for the juices!

I am absolutely fascinated by these balls of "jasmin tea."  ?????

It's not just tea and coffee you can find in Istanbul, it's Lipton and Nescafé (what the locals call American-style coffee)

I have no idea exactly what is offered here, but Vitamin Bars exist throughout the various neighborhoods of Istanbul

When I taught at university in Bahrain, I always had students to read the coffee grounds.  I still try to do it whenever I drink strong Turkish coffee.  I don't think my friends were impressed...

No confusion for the tourists--not with neon signs to show--and translate-- the way

This may look like a familiar hot chocolate or even a cappuccino,  but it is Turkey's own hot comfort drink:  Salep, made from ground up orchid tubers of the Orchis mascula and other species of orchids.

Again, looks can fool you.  This looks like comfort drink to me:  the beloved agua de jamaica, or hibiscus tea, of Mexico.  Wrong, wrong, wrong!  It's salty turnip juice!  TURNIP JUICE !  
Surprise, surprise.

And if inclined, one could simply buy some "love tea" makings in the Spice Souk...and make your own beverage.  Can you see the balls of jasmin tea behind?  Still fascinated...

Complimentary digestifs provided after a lovely meal...

Wonderful Efes beer...Turkey's own.

Wine on the balcony, breezes from the Bosporus, wafting smells from the kebab shops, and haunting prayer calls...memories of Istanbul

A very drinkalbe Turkish white wine...purchased at the local grocery store along with crusty bread, strong cheese, and salty olive paste.  A very civilized cocktail hour on our balcony...

...that stretched into the evening.

The Drinks of Istanbul...come enjoy them for yourself.  Join me on my Istanbul Tour, May 16 - 23, 2011.

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Victoria Challancin
Flavors of the Sun Travel
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