What's safe to eat?

What to eat and drink, what not to eat or drink, food preferences, allergies, and (why not?) recipes for Turkish cooking!

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Re: How about an allergy to tomatoes and eggplant?

Post by Rauf » Fri Mar 17, 2006 2:20 pm

mH wrote:We will be travelling next month with a friend who seriously cannot eat these two things or anything made with them. Eggplant is usually obvious,but tomatoes sometimes creep into sauces.

Any tips?

And also,how do you say? Are there tomatoes in this dish?

I am allergic to tomatoes!

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Water in Turkey

Post by Much2CnDeu » Tue Nov 21, 2006 2:27 am

I think some people may react to the water in Turkey and others not. I know people who can eat the salads w/o a problem and others who cannot. For me, that's why Imodium AD is packed -- regardless of the country I'm visiting.

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Post by Jeanne » Mon Nov 27, 2006 4:34 pm

Hi Marijse and all!
How amusing to read the concerns! Especially becuase I am also a Dutch born and living in Turkey since 6 years. The Dutch can be so hyprocrite and over concerned because of ignorance!
I eat everything without any problem and actually professionally I am a educated a grafic designer but now in Turkey I am a chef! The diversity of the food is great, everything comes fresh what the season brings. No better tomatoes anywhere else. I feel sorry if you have a allergy. I remember I had a tomato allergy guest, she said though she could eat it as long as it was cooked.
Tomato is a great ingredient for turkish food, and everybody is right, it comes in big or small amounts in many of the dishes. To be safe you can always order something from the grill, fish or meat. Lokanta food with many cooked vegetables get some tomato puree in it. And as so nicely put above in Raufs post, just check before you order.
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Post by suiko6 » Wed Mar 28, 2007 6:17 pm

I thought the reason the Dutch took their own food was because they don't want to spend their money - if it's just hygiene, how come they do it in Spain too?

Wouldn't touch Imodium myself - nasty stuff, and it will screw up your digestive system a lot worse than a little bit of diarrhoea.

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Post by Jeanne » Sat Mar 31, 2007 6:42 pm

Hi Suiko6,
I would almost think you are Belgium to say the Dutch are tight ....
The reason you give is true, they did take their own food on holidays more for the reason they were not so adventurous.
In the meantime things have changed and the most exotic food is for sale, there are everywhere foreign mainly turkish, morrocan, chinese and indonesian supermarkets and definitely more foreign restaurants than dutch.
I do have to bring lots of ingredients and spices from Holland now that I am living in Turkey and I still like my Indonesian food now and then.

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Post by Al » Sun Apr 01, 2007 1:47 am

>The reason you give is true, they did take their own food on holidays more for the reason they were not so adventurous.

My mother in law is Dutch and, having grow up in the western USA, I had never seen someone take a good piece of beef steak and BOIL it for dinner until I started eating her cooking. The Dutch need to stick to pancakes, cheese, and chocolate.

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Post by Tavsan » Sun Apr 01, 2007 4:57 am

I am not Dutch but I still take a few snacks along including a breakfast bar or two. Goes great with cay in the am when you don't want to cook or you just want something different for breakfast. However, I cannot imagine being in Turkey and refusing to have Turkish food. That would be like torture in this house.


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Post by davcamp » Mon Apr 02, 2007 4:15 pm



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Post by Mrwilson » Tue May 08, 2007 9:54 am

Interesting posts, folks, but I think that many you may not be aware of the some of the main issues relevant for folks coming to Turkey (or other areas in the "middle east") from areas where certain food-borne infectious agents are relatively rare. It is known that the risk of developing something as mundane as "traveller's diarrhea" (TD) for someone travelling from a low risk area (ie, north america, britain, europe) to a "higher risk" area such as the middle east is not low! A recent medical study among poor Dutch travellers coming to the middle east from "home" showed the rate of TD to be over 50%! I would bet that this could be similar for me, due to arrive from Canada not long from now, and has to do more with what one is typically exposed to in one's regular diet, rather than any moral weakness, lack of intestinal fortitude, failure to eat organic, etc.

Those of you who reside in Turkey may well be in the poorest position to comment on the recommended precautions, precisely because you are already immune to any agents (usually bacterial) that are in the environment (and food), have already had a reaction (perhaps even very mild and long forgotten ) -- but as a result cannot generalize from your anecdotal experience of eating tomatoes, water, or virtually anything when making recommendations to others coming from elsewhere.

Those coming from abroad should likely speak to those who study the risks of travelling from a low exposure area to a relatively higher one such as Turkey. Such precautions would not be similar when one is travelling to north america, for example, because things like e. coli. are not typically growing in the tap water. (And when it is, its big news, as people get sick with a home grown version of "TD", and vulnerable individuals even get dangerously sick -- and make it into all the headlines, as well.)

So as one looking at this issue myself, coming to Turkey from abroad, without a load of time to suffer "the poops" for 2-3 days, I am still deliberating what to do. (I am also glad I'm not going to the Carribean, where the rates are the highest!)

So... sure, the recommendations offered by foreign doctors and foreign national governments are some cautious and cannot be fully up to date -- partly as these things fluctuate -- they are certainly not part of any great plot to ruin dining experiences in Turkey! They are simply reporting the rates of illness among tourists (and not, I repeat, among those who are well acclimatized to the food in turkey, such as ex-pats living there).

Personally I am still deciding between lots of prophylactic pepto-bismol (an antibacterial coating results) or a prophylactic antibiotic (my sun tan may be better than I'd like, as a result) or even an e. coli vaccine that you can now take by mouth in one easy swig.

But I do love salads, so I am weighing the costs of prophylaxis and eating almost whatever vs. limited prophylactics and eating less than whatever.

Further, the risks of illness are higher in the very young, and those with other predisposing conditions, including heart burn requiring regular antacids, for God's sake (which I have, despite still being at a healthy, adventurous age.)

But I also suffer from the worry of being an MD travelling abroad.

To end this now diatribe -- I would suggest that it may likely be worth contacting a travel med expert (and one who actually travels) in one's own country regarding the issue of travelling from one's home area, despite what people tell who really don't know all that much about transmissible conditions, and are likely themselves unaffected as they have lived in the country at issue for a sufficient length of time that it doesn't matter anymore. (I also lived in India as a youth -- once we'd all experience the typical one week's local GI illness, we were then fine!)

Anyone with further comments, please respond! :roll: Priticularly anyone with particular expertise on the topic. :?

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Post by steve » Tue May 08, 2007 1:11 pm

The first bit of 'expertise' I'd add is that Turkey is not in the Middle East. I think that your concerns are a little alarmist. You have about as much chance of getting an upset stomach in Turkey as any other European Mediterranean resort. Peptobismol and loperamide are useful items for any travel medical kit, but I’d pack these for both Boston and Bodrum. My prescription for your forthcoming trip would be a chill pill – you’ll be fine and will enjoy both the country and the food.

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