How to Decipher the Menu, Know the Market Foods & Embark on a Tasting Adventure
by Joan and David Peterson
What's this?...Another book-reviewing Turcophile in our midsts? Why, they're springin' up like daisies...And this one likes good eats! So she must be at least half right when she says...
This novel guide is a culinary sourcebook for travelers who put food first.
Traveling foodies who like to get to the heart of a culture through its cuisine, yet never find enough material about the topic in general guidebooks, can get a quick handle on eating in Turkey with this EAT SMART destination cuisine guide -- which contains a treasury of Turkish culinary surprises and language tips for navigating the menu and the food bazaar.
Because this guidebook helps to remove the guesswork, less adventuresome eaters can be more at ease in experimenting with the new and exotic Turkish foods and food preparations. And, of course, really fussy eaters can quickly learn what to avoid. Ever wonder why McD's is everywhere?
This lightweight, easy-to-carry guide is a paean to Turkish cuisine, replete with color photos and original black and white illustrations to get those salivary juices flowing. It also contains a rich historical perspective on the origins and varieties of Turkish food and provides extensive background on the delectable regional dishes. Turkish phrases are included to make one's culinary adventure even more successful.
One sometimes wishes for similar lists in English with Turkish translations, but the index suffices well enough without the added weight such additions would generate.
The authors (inveterate travelers, cooks, seekers of unusual herbs and spices, and new ways to prepare familiar ingredients) have added a delicious bonus by providing a chapter of recipes for travelers to preview the tastes before departure, thus broadening the guide's appeal to cookbook lovers as well.
Despite the relative paucity of recipes [hey, this is a guidebook!] it
often receives unsolicited reviews as a cookbook. But don't be mislead. It's
shelved in the travel section of your favorite bookstore.
by Lewis V. Thomas (revised and edited by Norman Itzkowitz)
Our McGill University reviewer
has two main intellectual passions -- Psychology and the Turkish
language. Wait a minute!
Does this imply that he secretly teaches Turkish to pigeons --
behind closed-cage doors at the McGill Psych lab? Hmmm.
(from back of book)
I have to agree wholeheartedly with the above statement; this
book helped me learn the basics of Turkish quickly and (fairly)
And at least some of the credit for that must go to the logical
organization of the book's 23 lessons. The lessons start out at
a basic level: the alphabet, pronunciation and basic vocabulary.
Then, more advanced subjects are presented: suffixes and verbs.
Throughout the lessons, new words are introduced to expand the
Each lesson begins with an example
of what is covered in that lesson. Next, the
lesson is explained in detail -- with many examples. Finally,
there are self-test exercises at the end of
the lesson...and they are not always easy. Luckily, the
answers are at the end of the
book, so there is a way to correct yourself.
The book has a thorough table of contents,
but unfortunately, there is no index.
So if you need to find something specific, you're left to find
it yourself, and your only search-aid is the table
On the bright side, there is a comprehensive
(albeit one-way) mini-dictionary
at the back -- and it's great for looking up new Turkish words.
However, if you are doing a self-test exercise, and can't remember
a required Turkish word, you are at a loss -- because it only
provides Turkish to English translations.
[This became annoying for me, so I soon bought a small bi-lingual
Vocabulary is presented
quite well in this book. To get you started with the lessons,
you're given a basic set of words -- but not so many that you feel
overwhelmed. During the first few lessons new words are
added, but not in excessive number,
so that you can become accustomed to the format of the lessons
-- and also so that you understand the basic patterns of Turkish.
[If too many new words were added at first, you'd
waste all of your time using the dictionary.] In later
lessons though, new words are added in greater number -- making
a dictionary a must.
There are many positive points about this book.
In general, once you've finished this book, you'll have a
good beginner-level understanding of the Turkish language.
You may not be able to speak or write it perfectly, but you will
have the tools to break apart sentences, and to understand the
components. With this knowledge, and with lots of practice, you
should be on your way to speaking and writing Turkish properly.
As for the book's negative aspects, there are a few.
All in all, this book taught me a lot about the Turkish language
-- in a thoroughly
enjoyable way. And even
though I hadn't quite finished it when I first visited Turkey,
I was able to pick out many spoken words rather easily, and to
make logical sense of basic written sentences. And
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