Floating Fish Grill, Istanbul

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Fish Sandwich Boat, Eminönü on the Golden Horn, Istanbul, Turkey

Fire in the Boat!

It’s pretty cool to see a fire in a boat, and that’s what you see down by the quai in Istanbul‘s Eminönü district on the Golden Horn as the boatmen prepare balık-ekmek (fish & bread)—grilled fish sandwiches.

I’ll bet these boats have been here, selling sandwiches, for centuries. They’d catch fish in the Bosphorus at night, then cruise here to sell them—although they have never been this elaborate before, with gilt trim and electric lights.

Light the grill, clean and fillet the fish, cook ’em up, cut a loaf of fresh Turkish sourdough bread in half, slice it lengthwise, slide the fillet in, salt and serve. They’re delicious, and they cost only TL5. More…

Look carefully and you’ll see the man in the boat handing a fish sandwich to a customer. Meanwhile, Bosphorus shearwater gulls circulate, ever hopeful they’ll get one…for free.

By the way, the name on the boat is Deniz Yıldızı, “Star of the Sea.”

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