The travelling cook, the FoodieBackpacker, let us in on the couple of essentials his raki table would be lost without.
“In my FoodieBackpacker dinners, I’m serving my food with raki. I show them the perfect serve, with the right amounts to drink it, one part raki, one part water. I always say to people at the raki table to just take one bite of food and then sip a little bit of raki. That way both the food and raki is more delicious If you just start eating a lot and then drink the raki like it’s water, you’re not going to enjoy either. Small tastes are the key.
I love cheese with raki so I use different cheeses a lot as ingredients in my cooking. Also hummus is a must for me at any raki table as are flavours with yoghurt. I especially like spicy, chilli flavours and also cumin. According to the main course I do switch but whether it’s with seafood, meat or vegetables the cumin and chilli flavours with the raki are great.
“I couldn’t travel without my spices”
I couldn’t travel without my spices, especially cumin, sumac and dried mint. I take them from Turkey from either the market in Istanbul or, whenever possible the East of Turkey, which is the centre of spices. I get mine from Gaziantep, where some of my family are living so they can send them over to me fresh. When I buy them from Gaziantep the flavour and smell seems to last forever.
I really like long conversations during dinners. If I don’t have anyone with me I eat so fast, I finish everything in five minutes. If there’s someone with me, we chat and talk and it’s so much more fun. It’s not just about eating anymore, it’s a social activity so of course it’s really important to socialise and share what you did during the day.”