A Few Brief Moments From Istanbul's Food Markets

Each time I take a vacation I promise myself that I "won't work" and then, at a certain point, I remember that my work is about food, which means life, which means that in a sense, I am always working. With every bite, every inhale and exhale. And blissfully.

So it was when I traveled to Turkey this month. As I write this, I'm still fighting jet-lag and finding bits of pistachio in my pockets.

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Just a few days ago I was wandering aimlessly through some of Istanbul's food markets: the historic Kadiköy fish market on the Asian side, the Beyoğlu neighborhood's bustling Balık Pazarı, and the little impromptu side street markets, sometimes with only a simple set-up: two tables of fruit, a tea seller and a mussel man.

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It is from these slow strolls when all my senses were open and alive, that I bring you just a few images and words to whet your palate. (If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram, you may have already seen some of the pictures that were made with my phone.)

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Turkey really hosed me down with its light and color and depth of flavors. The food experience was as much about the people as it was about the tastes. This depth of experience made me want to do my job better. It made me crave the ability to see and taste even deeper.

If you've been there before, I hope this small offering will resonate. If you haven't, I invite you on this journey with me.

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Related: Lemon Zest and Laughter at Istanbul Culinary Institute

(Images: Sara Kate Gillingham-Ryan)

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Sara Kate is the founding editor of The Kitchn. She co-founded the site in 2005 and has since written three cookbooks. She is most recently the co-author of The Kitchn Cookbook, to be published in October 2014 by Clarkson Potter.