Sunday, January 16, 2011

A Turkish Party

The perfect way to explore Vienna.

What a good time we had last night at the Turkish restaurant! There 7 of us and I think we managed to sample about everything on the menu. I can't remember how to spell them all but there was eggplant pureed with garlic and herbs [baba ganoosh], the best hummus, wonderful fresh pita, spinach pie, some sort of stuffed with feta and herbs pastry, fresh and unsalty feta, olives, we split a chicken, lamb and sausage plate and there was baklava, kadiefi [glorified shredded wheat] and rice pudding for dessert.

I had Turkish tea, which the waiter says comes from the south of Turkey and is very traditional. It was served in small glasses, shaped like small hyacinth sprouting glasses, with an actual tea spoon and all sitting in a little colorful bowl. It was a pretty dark amber and was very hot - they brew it to order. The taste was on the thin side, with a fresh taste and metallic and astringent overtones. I am not sure I would get it again, but it was a very pleasant accompaniment to the hors d'oerves. To be truthful, I would've preferred the Turkish coffee - tiny cups, bitter brew with lots of sludge in the bottom, but wonderful stuff. Hey, what can I say? I like both drinks.

I couldn't help but think how many of the dishes we were served would make a wonderfully exotic tea party. All those delicious spreads for small pitas, the tiny savory pastries, white bean salad, cucumber soup, small lamb or chicken skewers, and of course, those sweeter than sweet desserts. With an exotic tablecloth and napkins, and plenty of good black tea, you'd be in business. Many Turkish dishes are very similar to other Middle Eastern ones and most are fairly easy to prepare, with recipes readily available on the internet.

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