Istanbul Cult Recipes
My first introduction to "Cult Recipes" was last year's "Tokyo Cult Recipes," which I can't recommend highly enough. The "Cult Recipes" books are a virtual stroll around some of the world's great cities (Venice, New York, Tokyo, Istanbul), with detailed maps, itineraries, and supporting recipes to match. The included photographs capture the vibrant people and places, as well as mise en place and various markets and ingredients. Turkish cuisine is probably my favorite and I have numerous Turkish books in my collection, so I was eager to see how this would stack up. From the gorgeous gold-embossed cover to the unique black-and-white cartoons, "Istanbul Cult Recipes" is a fantastic love song to the city. True to Turkish cuisine, the bulk of the recipes are for meze, including a vibrant beetroot couscous, chopped salad with walnuts, and purslane salad, kebabs, pilavs, and veg-friendly mains (lentil kofte, hot salads, black-eyed peas with tomato, sarma, etc.). The street food chapter introduced me to some new favorites (I had no idea that giant baked potatoes were popular outside the US), while the "Sweet Things" chapter doesn't disappoint with kadayif, kunefe, muhallebi, kurabiye, lokma, Turkish delight and baklava. I loved the pumpkin dessert and baked quince ideas. The illustrated pastries and condiments, grains and pulses, and dried herbs and spices charts were also tremendously helpful. Recipes are listed in metric / US volume / US weight measurements, which I greatly appreciated (more and more UK titles are doing this thankfully!). The recipes themselves are simple and straightforward, and most don't require extensive prep or cooking time, making it easy to prepare several dishes to be served together, as is the tradition in Turkey. A fantastic collection to your cookbook library and one of my top cookbooks of 2016!