On a Monday like this, I want to start talking about some gourmet pleasures of life! Though most of you are on your Monday diets already, you can enjoy reading it at least if not enjoying it soon!!
Borned and raised in Istanbul, I had the privilage of enjoying best of meze and drinking raki in the wonderful scenery of Bosphorus. How can you not drink this refreshing grape and aniseed drink accompanied by some delicious Turkish feta cheese (oh yes it is different), fresh salad and delicious vegetables cooked only with olive oil, some with garlic and lemon! In Turkey some say, “I can eat my dad if he gets out from the sea”!! meaning all the seafood plates are more than welcome!! So, living in Geneva, I always dream about this precious Sundays we had in Istanbul, gathering around the raki-meze-fish lunch tables, with the family and loved ones..
However, life is always with suprises and awaits you to enjoy it whereever you are! So that’s what I did, preparing a raki-meze table from my new loved ones in Geneva! My lovely neighbours joined us this time and it’s turned out to be a raki-meze 101 course for them! I found a much more enthusiast and curious group than I thought and seems like they will want a 102 as well 🙂
Before getting into the table and recipes, here are some nice movies where you can see why I enjoy so much drinking this white, mystique drink along side with the meze.
This is an ad from Yeni Rakı, which shows what a great mix we have in our culture..something that I wish politicians remember and be more respectful from time to time!
And here again another film shows how interesting it is that in a country like Turkey you have so much differentiation and colors! Pay attention to the moment where at the table in the garden, there is a family gathering and the father asks his son not to hide the raki (as he was not wanting to drink in front of him with all his respect) and make a “şerefe (cheers)” with him! So real!
In Turkey, a big bottle of raki is called “Bi Büyük” which is “One big”. And the movie says around the table of raki, we become “one big (family)”. So you don’t need to go to a fancy restaurant to enjoy raki but just simply enjoy it where you are! A bit like the wine culture in Europe of course.
One of my favorite scenes is where they put the table into sea and enjoy the meze with their feet in the sea:) Oh yes I want to do that right now where we have snow in the middle of March!!!
I hope you enjoyed the movies as much as I did as I regard these not like an ad but more like an intro to a new culture. If you want to learn more about the culture of raki and meze, you can buy te book called “Raki, the Spirit of Turkey” from Amazon. Here it shows what you can find in it..and well said, Rakı is not a drink only, it is a way of life!
So my next article will be about some recipes around the table, especially my neighbour’s favorite, dried tomato salad! Until then you can enjoy my friend Özlem’s great recipes of Meze !