BEYOND KEBABS: A GUIDE TO TURKISH STREET FOOD

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Making Gözleme. Pic by Carin

KEBAB shops can be found almost everywhere today. Generally offering a good size meal for great value, it’s no wonder kebabs are so popular amongst students. But if you’re lucky enough to study in Turkey- the kebab’s ancestral home, you’ll quickly find that there are many other tasty street foods available.

The exciting whirlwind city of Istanbul is home to some of Turkey’s best universities, such as Sabancı, and Istanbul Bilgi and Boğaziçi, as well as some of the most appetising street foods at affordable prices. Many of Turkey’s coastal cities boast mouthwatering fresh fish restaurants, vendors of grilled corn on the cobs and popular rice stuffed muscles.

Having been to Istanbul on a number of occasions, I’ve had the opportunity to have a bite of the many different types of foods available. One thing I’ve always loved about Turkish street food however, is not only the aromatic smells of herbs and spices, but the experience which comes with the food. The vibrant culture of Turkey and the country’s love of food is fused with the food preparation process, and you always get to see how your food is made.

Turkish cuisine often involves a lot of meat, however there are vegetarian options available too. Here are some popular options:

Gözleme
Gözleme is a savoury traditional Turkish pastry dish, very similar to a pancake but with the options of most often a goat’s cheese, onion and spinach filling or spiced minced meat. You’ll often see women sat down rolling out dough on a traditional wooden tableside, cooking the gözleme over a hot griddle. Gözleme’s are not only very tasty and super addictive, but cheap and healthy. They can be eaten for breakfast, lunch or throughout the day as a snack.

Simit
The Simit is another pastry based option, and a staple of traditional Turkish street food sold by street vendors. The Simit is a light and flaky dough formed into a large ring, topped with sesame seeds and baked a golden brown colour. It can be eaten by itself or as a breakfast food with some jam. One thing that always goes very well with a Simit is a nice hot glass of çay (Turkish tea).

Simit pastry rings. Pic by Aaron May

 

Kokoreç
For those who prefer a meaty, more adventurous option, you might want to try Kokoreç, although you may find it slightly unusual looking at its ingredients. Spiced offal is wrapped in lamb’s intestine and skewed on a large open fire until crisp. Popular in many Turkish cities and especially amongst students as a post-party snack, many claim it to be very tasty, and having tried some Kokoreç myself I’ll admit it’s not bad. However taste aside, it is very greasy and there have been concerns about the exact contents of the offal mixture, as well as questions about it’s health benefits as Turkey doesn’t have very strong food standard requirements. I wouldn’t recommend eating Kokoreç everyday.

A kokoreç stall. Pic by Ankara

 

Other foods and drinks you may come across in Turkey:

Ayran: A very popular savoury plain yogurt based drink.

Çay: Turkish tea, served everywhere in Turkey in small dainty glasses.

Maraş Dondurma: A very popular ice-cream originating from the eastern province of Maraş. Famous for it’s elasticity, vendors often offer a comical show which gets people laughing.

Midye: Mostly found in coastal areas, Midye is a rice stuffed muscle. Very cheap and very tasty. However again there are questions of food hygiene.

Turkish tea – or çay – is served in small dainty glasses

 

I originally wrote this article for Student World Online

The Best Ever Face Wash: L’Oreal Skin Perfection Soothing Gel-Cream Wash

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It take’s a very good product for me to label as my most favourite. And the L’Oreal Skin Perfection range’s gel-cream wash is definitely currently my favourite face wash. I say currently but I’ve actually been using this particular product for a few months now, and I am very happy with it. I’ve tried out quite a few face washes’ and scrubs, and I’ve found that the L’Oreal skin perfection face wash works best for me because I have rather sensitive skin.

My skin like many young women is at times a little prone to spots and blackheads. I’m guessing that most probably the reason for this is that I have quite oily skin. However at times it can have some dry patches on my face, particularly nose and around the mouth area. So I’d say I have combination skin. The L’Oreal skin perfection gel-wash claims to be for dry and sensitive skin. I use this face wash every morning and before I go to bed, unlike some other face washes, this product isn’t harsh on my sensitive skin. Instead it’s very gentle, and I always find that any spots or imperfections I have tend to vanish after using the L’Oreal skin perfection gel-wash. I’d say this takes around two washes. And this is great! I find that some face washes and particularly face scrubs, cause me to have a negative reaction. This often leads to more spots then I’d usually have, as well as even more sensitive skin.

I think that the L’Oreal Skin Perfection range is great for young women. Their product’s are also very diverse, in that there’s literally something for almost anyone. There are actually quite a vast amount of different product available in the Skin Perfection range. I myself haven’t tried and tested out all of them. I’m a little tempted to trying out the Skin Perfection Purifying Gel Wash for normal to combination skin, as well as the Radiance Revealing Exfoliator. I’m expecting that unlike other exfoliators I have tried, it won’t have the same harsh effect. However what I’ve currently discovered is that by adding around a tea spoon of bicarbonate soda to my face wash, it transforms into a great DIY exfoliator, which isn’t harsh on my skin. I would do this around 1- 2 times a week. And I have noticed great results (spot redness goes down or disappears significantly!).

I find that the L’Oreal skin perfection gel-wash is great value for money – another positive. I tend to purchase the product from Superdrug where they usually have a  two for £5 offer. Great for students, and those looking to save money, as beauty products seem to be getting even more expensive lately. You can also purchase the wash from many high street stores and supermarkets.

As a final note, this is my personal opinion on the product, and I hope it has helped.

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Let me introduce myself

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I thought it would obviously be a good idea to start of with a little introduction blog post…because well I’m kinda new to this whole blogging thing. So I thought why not give a few fun facts about myself…here we go!

– I’m a 21 year old girl from London. Born and bred.
– Of Turkish/Kurdish heritage.
– I’m a recent graduate with a 2:1 in English Literature and Creative writing at the University of Westminster…currently completing my MA in Cultural and Critical Studies.
– I’m a freelance writer at the moment PLUS a full time big sister.
– I was shortlisted for the Guardian’s International Development Journalism Competition 2013. (One of the youngest) –> http://bit.ly/1lFSjt6
– I sing…You can find me on Youtube. –> http://bit.ly/1p2oq8T
– I love art, food, fashion, politics (especially concerning women & human rights), travel and
quite a lot of things really.

Anyway, I’ve always wanted to start blogging but for some reason never got round to doing it. However now I feel like it’s time. I don’t have a specific topic for my blog, partly because I have so many random and diverse interests, and soo I will be blogging about pretty much whatever sparks my interest, get’s me thinking, as well as lifestyle.