November 14, 2011

Kuşadası, Turkey. October, 2011

When Jay and I walked into the small delicatessen-type shop in Kuşadası, I was first struck by the many barrels of different types of olives. Then by the kindness of the owner who came right over and offered us a piece of helva. And then, there among the cheeses in the case, a big tub of what looked like clotted cream. “Kaymak?” I asked, wondering if it was indeed Turkey’s wonderfully thick cream that they layer onto so many of their desserts. “Hayır,” answered the clerk shaking her head. "No." It was, she explained, Turkish yogurt. Sold! They filled a small container for me and I brought it back to the ship, intending to have it with fruit and nuts at breakfast the following morning. And here it is, rich, resplendent and thoroughly resistant to any attempts to stir it. (Photo taken after several fruitless tries.) Like butter, some might say. And so began my comparison taste tests of yogurt over the next few weeks through Turkey, Greece, Italy, Switzerland. The winner? Nothing even came close to this unbelievably thick contender from our first stop in Asia Minor. Nothing.

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