How the Turks DO Italian Food


Happening upon the Rumeli Cafe one blustery day in Nişantaşı and unable to withstand the freezing winds and driving rains any longer, I duck inside. One successful attempt at asking for a menu later (menu alabilirmiyim? Can I get a menu?) and a trip up three flights of stairs to the toilet, I cozy up in my armchair to await my order of classic Italian minestrone and a caffe latte.

Delicious spaghetti-corn-spinach soup in mystery broth.
The latte was amazing–strong, sweet espresso with a thick foam that held up throughout my entire meal. The minestrone turned out to be an awkward Turkish version made with broccoli, corn, spinach, canned mushrooms, and spaghetti noodles swimming in a savory, yet not unsatisfactory, broth whose stock came from an unidentifiable origin. Despite these momentary setbacks, it was quite an acceptable form of my ultimate comfort food. Remember the Cream of Lettuce Soup incident? Which was not a joke, but in fact a joke I believe was played upon the travelers by Delta’s Business Class Elite Staff for making us all believe that cream of lettuce soup is the new avant-garde food of the moment. Again, I restate my disclaimer that I will always go for the soup…no matter what.
Susannah Woodbury
Susannah Woodbury is an ayruveda-loving expatriate yogic English tutor conquering the world one wipe-off activity book at a time. She writes collections on The English Tutor, which are experiences from a young vagabond living and working in Turkey. She explores what it means to live far outside of your comfort zone--and have the courage to walk into a new yoga studio halfway around the world.
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