Penne Cole's thoughts on food, travel and more
One of my all time favourite street foods is kumpir in Istanbul. To make kumpir, take a gigantic, perfectly baked potato, split it down the middle lengthwise, and whip it in its skin with a generous amount of butter. Top with any topping that comes to mind. The choices are massive, and if you go to one of the many kumpir stalls in Istanbul, they will all be laid out in front of you in neat boxes, much like an ice cream store.
On my first day back in Istanbul, I insist on going to my favourite Kumpir area in Ortakoy, just behind the famous Ortakoy mosque on the Bosphorus. There, a whole row of stores serve kumpir and I’m hard pressed to pick between them. Finally making a choice, I top my kumpir with sweet corn (yes, carbs on carbs), tomato sauce, a hint of olive paste, and some sour cream, all for 10 – 15 Turkish Liras. Perched on a bench by the blue Bosphorus, I relish my first steaming hot bite of kumpir, and soak in the Turkish atmosphere.
Now I wish I were back in Istanbul.
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