A family dinner
Vegetables have an important place in Turkish cuisine. They can either be cooked with olive oil and served cool or with butter/margarine and a little meat, and served hot. The star of the kitchen is a different sort of rice, called pilav (pilaf). A good pilaf is the proof of a housewife's cooking skills. If you see a person eating bread with pilaf or macaroni, in any part of the world, you can be pretty sure he/she is a Turk. Bread is the indispensable part of every Turkish meal. It is eaten whether or not it is particularly suited to the meal. Besides bread, Turks drink water during their meals. Even if they are drinking alcoholic beverages it is a good idea to put a decanter full of water on the table. Potable water is distributed in several ways in Turkey, via large glass or plastic demijohns or sold in plastic or glass bottles. Moreover Turks drink water from the fountains found throughout parts of town (the water is clean and potable).
Turkish coffee , enjoyed after meals and/or especially as a “morning coffee” around 11 o'clock by housewives, is served in small porcelain cups resembling espresso cups. It is served without sugar (sade), with some sugar (orta) or sweet (Şekerli). In Turkey, there is a famous saying: "A cup of coffee commits one to forty years of friendship" à this shows just how special Turkish coffee is among Turks. In Turkey, it is a common practice to have your coffee grounds read, after you have finished. If you ask around, you are sure to find someone who purports to be a fortuneteller. You may be surprised by accuracy of the things this person tells you, when they don't know anything about you or your life. A favorite statement here is: “Don't believe fortune telling but don't be left without fortune telling.”
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Alexandre Vallaury - Architect Alexandre Vallaury was born into a Levantine family in İstanbul in 1850. Apart from the years he spent on architecture education in Paris, he lived in İstanbul for the rest of his life. more...
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