The Unvegan

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Turkish Food Week, Part II: Kebaps

Where I come from, we have a very limited view of what we call “kebabs.” For starters, we spell them k-e-b-a-b-s and assume that is the only way they can be spelled. Believing that the Turks just couldn’t spell the word, I laughed my way through all of the restaurants in Turkey that said k-e-b-a-p-s. Eventually, I realized that it was just another spelling of kebabs. I guess the restaurants got the last laugh.

Spelling, though, is not the only difference in perception of kebabs that I have with Turkey. I have also always been under the impression that kebaps are pretty much just foods grilled on sticks. Again, Turkey proved me wrong…twice!

A kebap. From pottery?!
A kebap. From pottery?!

The first strange kebap I had was the “Pottery Kebap.” This was in the Uranus Cave Restaurant in Cappadocia, which was a stop on my guided tour. Before delving into this mysterious kebap, I’d like to go off on an unvegan tangent. Anyone who says it’s difficult to travel as a vegetarian is a bold-faced liar. In all my traveling, on all the tours I’ve been on, the guide always makes sure to ask if anyone is a vegetarian. This was no different in Turkey. Before arriving at the cave, my guide asked about vegetarians, but made no effort to accommodate unvegans. As such, I was stuck praying that the meal I was about to get would be fit for an unvegan such as myself.

Turkish Food Week, Part I: Pide

Having just returned from a vacation in Turkey, I have decided to do a series of posts regarding my unvegan experiences abroad. Today’s review is about “pide” (pronounced pee-day), also called Turkish Pizza.

Maybe they should call this the "Turkish Calzone"
Maybe they should call this the “Turkish Calzone”

Eating something called Turkish Pizza really seems like a misnomer to me. I’m not sure if it is Turkey’s take on pizza, or perhaps they found that calling it Turkish Pizza makes it more approachable for visitors who may not have ever heard of “pide”. Either way, my first pide looked nothing at all like pizza. I got it at the Karadeniz Aile Pide & Kebap Sofrasi in the Sultanahmet district of Istanbul. It was called the pide with spicy meat pieces and the waiter told me the meat was beef. When it came, it looked more like a calzone than a pizza, and true to it’s word, it was full of meat pieces. The pieces, however, were not spicy, as I think they meant to write “spiced meat pieces.” Regardless, it was delicious and made me want more.