January 08, 2012

Seasonal Drinks to Warm Up Winter in Istanbul

Once winter arrives in full force, with wind whipping down the Bosporus from the Black Sea, and the snow flurries gathering atop minarets, Turks start to take refuge in seasonal drinks like sweet sahlep, or hearty boza, to help them fortify against the elements.

A tour of cafes and restaurants that serve these beverages provides a way to explore Istanbul and its culinary history.

Istanbul Culinary Institute‘s sleek restaurant offers mugs of sahlep – a hot sort of liquid tapioca made from the ground roots of Central Anatolian mountain orchids. The Institute makes it from scratch, mixed with wheat starch and milk, and dusted with ground ginger and cinnamon, for 10 Turkish lira, or $5.40.

Hande Bozdogan, director and founder of the Institute, is a fan of the beverage.

“My grandmother always said it is good for the cold and coughing so we always had it at home in my childhood,’’ Ms. Bozdogan said this week, adding that it’s important to seek out places that use the authentic powder and not an industrial mix.

Read more on The New York Times: Seasonal Drinks to Warm Up Winter in Istanbul


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