The great thing about traveling to a place you have been to several times is you know where to find the good stuff. On my recent trip to Istanbul, I headed straight to Spice Market (via 100s of traders telling me they know how they can help me loose weight) and to my favorite cheese shop which is buried deep inside this tourist attraction.
This shop has dozens of different cheeses, meats and other goodies. You can even buy bread rolls to take on an impromptu picnic.
My haul this visit included some new cheeses to be covered in their own posts. But I managed to pick up an old favorite.
Beyaz Peynir is a salty, white cheese made from unpasteurized cow’s milk. The cheese has a slightly grainy appearance and is similar to feta.
Beyaz peynir is produced in a variety of styles, ranging from non-matured cheese curds to a quite strong mature version. It is eaten plain, for example as part of the traditional breakfast served in Turkey, used in salads, and incorporated into cooked foods such as their famous “pizza” called pide.
Peynir is apparently from the Persian word for cheese, but savvy cheese lovers will also note that there is a well known Indian white cheese called Paneer which is quite similar.
I had mine for a Friday lunch with olive oil, fresh grape tomatoes and some basil from the last dying days of my herb garden.
As I said, one of the best things about traveling can also be about familiar experiences and rituals. It can also be about coming home. But that’s another post.