Wednesday, July 20, 2011
We had a very bad journey out to Izmir – an airport on the edge of the Marmara Sea. A delay of two hours on the runway due to a strike by air traffic controllers in Greece and when finally there was a slot for take -off, the Control Tower at Gatwick was struck by lightning. So a further delay and such a bad thunderstorm that the pilot did a detour taking nearly a further hour to fly around it.
The outcome of all this was that the four of us arrived at the hotel at midnight hot, tired and cross. I had no idea how wonderful the Turkish people are. So soothing and welcoming . Hungry? No problem – we can only offer you a Turkish omelette – Kaygana - with a very particular dry spicy Turkish sausage – Sucuk – quite hard to describe. The closest flavour would probably be a chorizo, though the texture is more like frankfurters. Being a muslim country, there is no pork sold (well not that we saw) so Sucuk is made from finely ground beef with cumin, garlic, salt, and red pepper, fed into a sausage casing and allowed to dry for several weeks and is their ‘bacon’. The sausage was chopped and fried in the omelette with fresh feta and herbs(flat leaved parsley and mint in this case) all drizzled with a very small amount of pomegranate molasses. We ate it in the cool central courtyard (with a huge Avocado tree in the middle) of our traditional hotel (once home to Ataturk) and whilst anything would’ve made us happy at that stage in a difficult day, this was truly delicious! Accompanied by wonderful sliced tomatoes with a flavour I have only ever found in hot climates - certainly never in England - with chives and chopped garlic plus a bottle of wine, it saw us very happily to bed.