Eat Istanbul: A Journey to the Heart of Turkish Cuisine is by the same team who wrote A Month in Marrakesh: A Food Journey to the Heart of Morocco, Andy Harris, writer, and David Loftus, photographer. It has the same combination of anecdote, photographs and glorious recipes.
I have owned the book for nearly a week and have cooked from it every day. I have some knowledge of Turkish cookery but I thought I would try recipes, ingredients or techniques that I was not familiar with - something of a leap of faith, but I do admit glancing at some old favourites to check his methods. Cooking these recipes also meant that I was not necessarily using my favourite ingredients either, so the recipes have had to work harder to please me. So far, it has all turned out brilliantly. My two favourite are Pathcanli pilav (aubergine and veal layered pilaf, although, as suggested in the recipe I substituted lamb for veal) and Lamb Stew with wild greens and egg-lemon sauce. The recipes were straightforward and easy to follow and the results were delicious. I had been worried that the wild greens would be bitter and the sauce sickly but it worked really well and I think you could omit the meat and have an excellent veggie dish.
The book is divided into sections: • Introduction • Breakfast • Streetfood and snacks • Meat and poultry • Fish and seafood • Desserts
There is also a comprehensive illustrated ingredients glossary and it is well indexed so it is easy to navigate.
However, this is not just a recipe book. It is also a travel book. Andy Harris writes well and his stories, anecdotes and bits of history are fun to read both for pleasure or while you are waiting for something to come to the boil.
It should be noted that the photographer, David Loftus, has equal billing on the title page. He deserves it. The book is full of the most glorious photographs of people, places and food.
This is a gorgeous book on all levels and I heartily recommend it - and - if you don't have it already - buy A Month in Marrakesh too.