The Lost Turkish Art of Handwoven Towels

IMG_2916

Let’s face it, we take towels for granted. We can buy them cheaply in all manner of color and thickness, in person or online. We drape them casually after they drink up wet beads from our skin, never thinking about their origin or maker.

Towels are part of our everyday existence, mostly unremarkable in their function and form.

This wasn’t always so. Towels were once precious textilian pieces of art produced by artisanal looms and nimble hands. Today, handwoven towels are on the brink of material extinction. Continue reading

Gulet Sea Change – An Aegean Culinary Adventure

I find myself in the southern Aegean on a stout wooden sailing vessel known as a gulet. My original holiday notion was to visit a few Greek Islands. But the Turkish Turquoise Coast was thrice recommended by a few nautical souls familiar with this part of the world. I have come here to swim, scramble through antiquities and foremost to enjoy the Mediterranean food, so simple and delicious.  Continue reading

Turkish Tales: A Food History Odyssey

Nena BreakfastThe last day leaving Turkey was certainly bittersweet. I was sent off with great fanfare by the staff at Hotel Nena with my last scrumptious Turkish breakfast. Grilled eggplant, olive tapenade, salty feta cheese, and sesame bread adorned my plate. Speeding away from the old city of Sultanahmet   I reminisced on the amazing array of food I have enjoyed during my visit. How integral that food is to the history of ten thousand years of humanity. I am certain I have tasted the spirit of cultures stretching back many centuries, well before written history. Agriculture played an instrumental role in this region throughout the ages, beginning with the first humans planting seeds in Western Anatolia, now the high plains of Turkey. This unique Turkish odyssey embodies the very history of food and agriculture, and the flavors of delectable Middle Eastern-Mediterranean cuisine. Continue reading