Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Street Food

Simitci Cart
I was raised in a small town - so street food wasn't really something I was familiar with - but now after living a few more places, I find I'm fascinated by the variety that pops up around the world. The simitci carts seem to be the most common in Istanbul so far. They remind me a bit of bagels, a round shaped bread, but these come with toasted sesame seeds, I'm guessing they are a food that is eaten at any time of day, because the carts can be seen throughout the day. I haven't tried them yet, have any of you?

Chestnut Cart
The second most common cart I see around town is the one for roasted chestnuts - which given that I spent the month of December in Istanbul meant that every time I saw one the old Christmas song, "chestnuts roasting on an open fire...." popped into my head.

Chestnuts Roasting
All of these photos were taken on a Saturday evening in the Beyoglu area - one of the most vibrant and fun parts of town.  We spent a couple of hours exploring the main street before going out to dinner.  Some were taken just after the sunset, and some quite late. If nothing else it gave me some much needed practice with night photography - and made me wish for a tripod, or at least steadier hands.

Roasted Chestnuts
I haven't tried the chestnuts yet, either. I think I'm hesitant to give street food a try after a bad experience in India. I'm sure I'll work up the nerve soon. Do you love street food? Or are you a bit hesitant to give it a go for some reason?

Speaking of streets, it's been a while since I shared anything by Joshua Radin, here's his "Streetlight."

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14 comments:

tinajo said...

Those chestnuts look delicious! :-)

Angie Willis said...

Mmm. Roasted chestnuts. How Christmassy are those! And I always think of that song whenever I see them too.

Dorian Susan said...

I was just thinking of that song about the roasted chestnuts the other day. I heard it at the grocery and thought "yah right. who the hell eats roasted chestnuts?" You've answered my question and shushed my cynicism.
In Philly they used to sell pretzels by the side of the road at traffic lights. I didn't dare. Love your night shots. The one with the neon glowing buildings behind is my fave. Happy day Jamie.

Dagmar said...

hi jamie,
I love street food and fortunately I have never had a bad experience..I find if the vendor is really busy it usually means his food is fresh and good...love the roasted chestnuts! ox

Christianna said...

Both of those things look really yummy! I haven't tried much street food, but the ones I have tried I liked a lot! Then again I haven't tried any street food outside of The States...

iris said...

Any word that has "ci" added to the end of it, generally means "seller of". So, "simitci" is a "seller of simit." Pretty exciting stuff.

Simit's are pretty basic sandwiches/breads with lots of sesames. It'll be pretty safe food.

My bad experience in Turkey was either from a buffet...or from baklava from the buffet. Not entirely sure. But it basically kicked off a month of mild issues. Living in foreign countries is grand!!

Marisa A. said...

I haven't had a bad experience with street food so I'll take one of those bagel things :) Also, I had no idea that is what a roasted chestnut looked like. That song will never be the same to me now...

lisa said...

Wonderful images Jamie, and those chestnuts look so good!!
I am so glad you are here, and I wish you a very Happy New Year.

maureen said...

Not really any street food where I'm from. And I've never had roasted chestnuts. Let us know if you try them! Although I can't blame you for being cautious.

The Blonde Duck said...

My sister tried to roast them one year and nearly burned down the house!

Marcie said...

There's something especially fun about street roasted chestnuts!! Wishing you a year filled with creativity and light...Happy New Year!

Valeria said...

I love chestnuts and cooked some for Christmas, to keep the Brazilian tradition.
And yes, I would try. I love trying new things. I guess that one of the worsts food I have ever tried was a Hot Dog wrapped on bacon in downtown LA. I was scared, but the smell :)
Lovely images.

Valeria said...

I love chestnuts and cooked some for Christmas, to keep the Brazilian tradition.
And yes, I would try. I love trying new things. I guess that one of the worsts food I have ever tried was a Hot Dog wrapped on bacon in downtown LA. I was scared, but the smell :)
Lovely images.

Andrew M said...

Hey Jamie,

I'd say a roasted chestnut would be safe as houses... they look awesome, I'm sitting here after a looooong day fixing a busted server, starving and read this post...

now I'm hungry... ;)

Hope you're keeping well !!!

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