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Customer Review

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This isn't bad. The illustrations are terrific and the finished dishes ..., 13 July 2014
This review is from: Eat Istanbul: A Journey to the Heart of Turkish Cuisine (Hardcover)
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After living in Turkey for a couple of years in the 70s I have collected as many Turkish cookbooks as have come available over time. My very first were a couple of volumes in the English language versions that quickly fell apart at the seams, but the authentic, and now hanging together with selotape and used as quick reference.
This isn't bad. The illustrations are terrific and the finished dishes look exactly as they should in most.
I have a couple of quibbles, my main being the ubiquitous Cobata salad, Turkish Sheperd's Salad, that was the basic salad that ended up on every dinner table next to a bowl of torn lettuce. Chopped or slices tomatoes, cucumbers, onions with just olive oil with salt and pepper. That's it. It is, and never was a version of Greek Salad with peppers and cheese that is a meal in itself, but was always a very simple side salad. However, there's lot of standards here.
Many people have complained they cannot find the ingredients. I would suggest you go online to the Turkish Supermarket based in the south, London I think, if you have the same problem they have pretty much all the bits and pieces you'll need.
Sumac, mastic and zahtar should be in your cupboard, along with lots of fresh flat leaved parsley, pomegranates if you can find them and lemons or limes. I always love salep as a hot drink from the cafes on the way home at nights. One of those things you never forget and always miss. If you can find the genuine article then do try it.

All in all. A very nicely presented book, with good illustrations and recipes for plenty, if not all, of the most common dishes you will find on family dinner tables and in cafes.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 27 Jul 2014 15:52:11 BDT
An Mhuruch says:
As someone who has lived in Turkey for three years, I agree that Coban Salatasi is usually presented without peppers and cheese, but it is also true that Turkish food presented in restaurants is very streamlined and it is often difficult to encounter genuine regional variations without going to someone's house or to an haute cuisine restaurant.

Of course, "Coban", pronounced "Choban" and meaning "Shepherd" does imply a certain simplicity, but peppers and cheese would fit into a shepherd's diet as well. So I don't think that this "deviation" is particularly egregious; rather, it is a mild variation that perhaps could have been marked as such.

I assume that "Cobata" rather than "Coban" in your post is a typo...

In reply to an earlier post on 4 Aug 2014 20:49:10 BDT
Have to agree to disagree. Never come across a Coban salata or shepherd's salad as your rightly point out made with cheese, or anything but tomatoes, onions and occasionally cucumber if at hand, with a dressing, chopped fine and then left to marinate in the dressing for a little while, and then everyone would soak up the left over juices with bread. If made with cheese it would be peynirli salata or even a posher Cokelek Salatasi.
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