But First, Kahve Turk

Turkish Coffee 4 arrCoffee lovers love coffee. Obviously, it’s a no-brainer. But all the same, true coffee lovers enjoy more than a ‘cup of joe.’ Equally keen on java, my morning ritual consists of freshly brewed Arabica beans. And as for the weekends, afternoon pick-me-ups are synonymous with none other than an intensely robust shot of ‘kahve turk.’

Talking about Turkish coffee, this coffee beverage is the common favourite both near – ‘chez-moi’ – and as far as Europe and the Middle East. Somewhat like Italian espresso, Turkish coffee is a staple in many coffee houses abroad and homes alike. Delighted for its strong and sweet flavours, Turkish coffee is bold and not for the faint of heart.

Turkish Coffee 2 arrFortunately, I’ve gained an early introduction on the how to’s of all things ‘cezve’ – a Turkish coffee pot – and my acquired Turkish coffee education is in great part thanks to my Persian heritage. Easy as 1-2-3, coffee aficionados everywhere can also make Turksh coffee with ease. Simple in technique as in contents, all you truly require is a ‘cezve’ and these following ingredients: ground Turkish coffee, sugar, and water. That’s – almost – all! As a rule of thumb, here are a few helpful hints: I use a heaping teaspoon of coffee per person as well as equal parts sugar – about a teaspoon – and an espresso cup worth of water per drink. Likewise, albeit a standard method in coffee making, I always try to use filtered water whenever possible.

Turkish Coffee 1 arrMeasurements aside, here’s how to make a fresh pot of Turkish coffee: fill the ‘cezve’ with exact portions of water per person, and place it on the stovetop over medium heat. Once the water has heated, add the spoonful(s) of coffee but be careful not to stir. Then, add the sugar and omit from stirring. Keeping a watchful eye, begin to stir the coffee and sugar as soon as they have seemingly dissolved or have sunk to the bottom of the pot. At this point, continue to stir until the liquid coffee mixture is well-combined and appears frothy and thicker in consistency. Upon ample stirring, leave the coffee on the stovetop but turn the tempertature to ‘low’, and allow the coffee to continue heating up until it’s ready. As for when it’s coffee time, it’s safe to remove the coffee upon noticing a ring of bubbles form around the edges of the pot. At this point in time, the coffee has sufficiently heated and you want to avoid boiling the coffee at all costs. If you didn’t know beforehand now you know: boiling Turkish coffee is a “no-no” – don’t let it happen to yours!

Tavazo Pastries 1 arrFinally ready to enjoy, I love Turkish coffee on its own for its rich and intoxicating flavour, and even more so when accompanied with pastry. Finding both ground Turkish coffee and Persian desserts at Tavazo, you don’t have to ask me twice to make a pot of ‘kahve turk.’ Afternoon well spent and recharged, you can do the same by visiting a local Persian grocer or by grinding your own preferred medium roast beans – just be sure to use the Turkish/’finest’ setting. Leaving you to it, then, “no ‘more’ talkie before coffee!”

Copyright © DISHFUL, 2017. All Rights Reserved. 

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A Nutty Obsession

Tav7 arrNuts for nuts?  Absolutely!  Almonds, pistachios, cashews, walnuts, hazelnuts – especially with chocolate – and even macadamia nuts, I love tree nuts – all varieties.  When impatient to chomp on some of nature’s best shelled treasures, one place comes to mind – Tavazo.Tav4 arr

Serving the best in dried fruits, nuts, preserves and other Persian delights, Tavazo is my preferred gateway to glorious snacks and confections.  Richmond Hill or Thornhill, make your way to either location and behold:  countless rows of self-serve decorative stands abundantly filled with candy-coated, salt-crusted as well as ‘au natural’ snack options for our health-conscious peckish friends. Tav3 arr

Uptown or midtown, select the closest destination and you’ll not be disappointed.  In addition to mixed nuts, familiar appearances are spotted as seen with dehydrated blueberries, cranberries, currants, strawberries, plums, pineapples, and apricots.  All delicious – agreeably so!  Unbeknownst to some, however, remain staples to Persian cuisine – meet the mulberry and barberry.  Eaten alone or in combination with other fine specimens, mulberries are golden – literally.  Reminiscent of raisins, in texture, they carry an appearance close to an oval-shaped version of a yellow raspberry; distinctly sweet, chewy and with an overall multifaceted surface.  Providers of goji berries, too, Tavazo is no stranger to the Persian cook – in you – if you looking to make ‘zereshk polo’ (a barberry and saffron-infused rice dish).Tav2 arr

Mulberries, barberries, almond-pistachio-walnut-cashew-hazelnut-peanut-goji-strawberry-blueberry-and raisin blended, mixed and bagged – by yours truly – my checklist is just about complete.  Hands on a little bit of everything, I am not quite ready to make a great escape – to a happy trail-mix of eating – until I revisit the confectionary aisle.  Individually wrapped, I am intrigued by the rose petal-laced and pistachio embedded jelly treats similar to Turkish delight, but only it’s Persian; so, it goes without saying, handfuls must be added to my basket. Tav1 arr

‘Healing waters’ situated on the end-cap, I find tamarind paste on the opposite side that leads to other equally palatable treats.  To be seen and explored, a trip down to memory lane – few steps, really – is easily spotted around the corner.  Reliving youth – if only for a moment – I find traces of past memories, shelved via assorted piles of neatly arranged Persian fruit leathers.

Tav9 arrBefore I even heard of Fruit Roll-ups, fruit leather – as far as I knew – came in one colour and taste:  a deep plum purple sheet of concentrated sour flavour.  Intensely irresistible, this lip-numbing treat is too good to pass on.  If Gushers and the like are not for you, fruit leather is made available – here – in all shapes and ‘sweetened’ varieties:  cherry, pomegranate, grape and the notorious plum.   For nostalgia’s sake, I take a few of those too.  “That’s so dry!?”  Indicatively so!  Laughing on the way to finalize a total sum – of more than I can carry – I wouldn’t want my purchased loot any other way but dehydrated, of course.

© DISHFUL, 2014.  All Rights Reserved.