Turkish wine and food a surprising delight

Turkish meals in Edmonton does not get the respect it merits.

Here’s a way of life, an ancient civilization that cradled the Greeks and the Romans. It’s among the globe’s most slight Muslim countries … with a meals pallet as attuned to western meat ‘n’ potatoes as something in Greece and Central Europe.

Another exciting anomaly: Turkey’s geographical region and terrain would suggest u. S. A. Ought to be a prime manufacturer of wine.

Turkey is all approximately grapes, now not wine. Grapes as fruit, dried grapes as raisins, distilled grapes for spirits. But not a good deal for wine. The drinking and serving of alcoholic drinks in Turkey may be very European, however, wine consumption comes fourth, after beer, raki (the national drink made with distilled grapes and aniseed) and vodka.

The wines it does produce have to turn out to be notable.

Last week certainly one of Turkey’s largest wine manufacturers, Lucien Arkas Vineyards, delivered its rather unknown wines to Alberta.

Naturally, the venue for the kickoff became a Turkish eating place.

Sofra, on 106 Street simply south of McEwan University, has quietly constructed a faithful following for its sophisticated Turkish cuisine over the past 15 years. It could arguably be the least-known restaurant in Edmonton with the nice-recognized clientele – a favorite, as an instance, of the Oilers’ pinnacle brass.

A few years ago, proprietor/chef Yuksel Gultekin improved into the constructing’s basement, developing a fantastically European wine cellar environment in which the wines of Turkey dinner became held ultimate week.

With great Turkish cooking from Gultekin, the night produced a number of the maximum thrilling, thoroughly new and scrumptious meals/wine pairings I even have encountered.

For appetizers, out from the kitchen got here plump grilled tiger prawns with an in-residence tomato basil sauce, plus goat cheese and figs within rolled-up slices of Turkish-style pastrami – referred to as pastor sarma.

The pastor sarma changed into scrumptious unto itself, and beautifully more suitable with the extremely-smooth Turkish chardonnay blend – Idol Ugni Blanc Chardonnay. Its citrus notes mingled with the candied fig, meaty pastrami, and savory goat cheese to produce a lovable new taste. The tomato/shrimp became a relatively easy suit with Arkas Vineyard’s Antre Sauvignon Blanc.

Sofra’s pleasant phrase-of-mouth recognition comes courtesy of its roasted meats. At our dinner, three of Gultekin’s finest dishes – a conventional Turkish grilled rack of lamb, a truly appropriate smoked duck breast, and cubed pork tenderloin – performed off the heavy, wealthy tannins of the Antre Okuzgozu-Bogazkere, a hardly ever exported crimson wine local to Turkey.

Once once more, the flavors – the sturdy peppery wine with the beautiful duck breast and lamb chops richly covered in Turkish spices – had been something new and thoroughly beguiling. On the facet, a cumin-packed rice pilaf contributed to the cornucopia of flavors deserving so much extra pan-Canadian exposure.

Altogether an enlightening enjoyable day trip right into a world of new wines and new ingredients and the interaction thereof: Lucien Arkas Turkish wines listing inside the $20 variety and are available at the Chateau Louis Liquor Store, Liquor International and the Jasper Wine Mrkt, among others.
Food Notes

With the success of the Downtown and Chinatown dining weeks, extra of the town’s commercial enterprise districts are figuring out that group “events” entice attention.

The Stony Plain Road Business Association presents “A Taste of Stony Plain Road” sampling birthday celebration on Thursday, May 23, from 6 p.M. To 9 p.M. At the out of doors patio of the Orange Hub, 10045-156 Street (the previous MacEwan University arts constructing). Wine and meals samples from the likes of Island Grill, El Rincon Hispano, and Little Village. More data at stonyplainroadbia.Ca.

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