But this evening is the big match – or so I gather – between local teams Fenerbahçe and Ankara Gücü. Apparently it is critical: Fenerbahçe, our team, must win! What do I know?
It is obviously a rakı evening so just a little something was required: you don’t just drink rakı by itself. What we had that lent itself to the occasion was some pastırma which is a kind of cured beef.This is sometimes mistakenly called the Turkish bacon. Why I am not quite sure as it isn’t pork. I suppose because it looks like rashers. But there the resemblance ends.
This is sometimes mistakenly called the Turkish bacon. Why I am not quite sure as it isn’t pork. I suppose because it looks like rashers. But there the resemblance ends.
Actually I have to confess it smells divine especially once it is in the oven. Nothing like bacon which I also adore. This has a spicy zing to it. You buy it either by the gram from a delicatessen or in a packet from a supermarket.
There is a further choice: do you want it with an extra spicy edge or without? Personally, I think, with. This is called çemen: a cumin-based paste including not only cumin but fenugreek, garlic, and hot paprika. Mmmmm.
Anyway, I opened up the packet and laid out all the slices on a large sheet of foil.
On top I put slices of lemon, tomato, and a few green peppers.
I then folded the edges over so the contents were totally enclosed and then into the oven preheated at 180C/350F for about 25 mins.
I must admit the smell that all those flavours together emitted was positively mouthwatering.