is çiğ köfte really banned?

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louis.herman
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is çiğ köfte really banned?

Post by louis.herman » Sun Mar 18, 2012 2:04 pm

hello, i am working on an informational websites about the restaurants in Sirkeci and have come up with an interesting question to which i am unable to find any reliable answer. is cig kofte (made with actual raw meat) actually outlawed? is it legal in some restaurants and not legal for street sellers? or is it still legal to sell everywhere? are all cig koftes nowadays just made from bulgur? i have heard a ton of different answers but no one with any reliable source information to back it up. please help!


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Re: is çiğ köfte really banned?

Post by SwampeastMike » Sun Mar 18, 2012 3:02 pm

Last fall I enjoyed watching fresh köfte (both chicken and meat) being made in the town of Eğirdir.

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Re: is çiğ köfte really banned?

Post by turkeytom » Fri Mar 23, 2012 5:12 pm

I'm in Istanbul right now, and lots of sit-down places sell çiğ köfte (raw ground spiced meat). It is certainly not illegal. In fact, the Sirkeci Konak Hotel, where I'm staying, features çiğ köfte (pronounced CHEE kerf-teh) on one of the free culinary tours it offers to its guests.

As for street sellers, I can't say, except that I certainly would not buy raw meat from one.

Tom Brosnahan

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Re: is çiğ köfte really banned?

Post by SwampeastMike » Sat Mar 24, 2012 11:58 pm

Is this served raw? If so, I misunderstood. I'll also be looking for it on my next trip...

louis.herman
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Re: is çiğ köfte really banned?

Post by louis.herman » Sun Mar 25, 2012 10:00 am

@ Tom... the Sirkeci Konak tour stops by Ali Usta çiğ köfteci who sells only meat-free koftes. It seems the conclusion would be that restaurants sell the real meat kind but street sellers do not. which is a good thing i guess. Mike: supposedly the meat variety is served raw... while the veggie version is served with cooked bulgur (wheat). have updated my website http://sirkecirestaurants.com/ accordingly.

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Re: is çiğ köfte really banned?

Post by turkeytom » Sun Mar 25, 2012 10:16 am

Tom... the Sirkeci Konak tour stops by Ali Usta çiğ köfteci who sells only meat-free koftes.
I was talking with Faruk Boyacı, owner of the Sirkeci Konak, about his newest culinary walking tour, which he said starts with çiğ köfte. I assumed that this meant...well, çiğ köfte, which is raw meat. I had never heard of "çiğ köfte" made of anything but raw meat.

"Meat-free köfte"? Bulgur? :shock:

The equivalent of a McDonald's "croissant."...

Thanks for the clarification.

Tom Brosnahan

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Re: is çiğ köfte really banned?

Post by louis.herman » Sun Mar 25, 2012 10:30 am

The good news is there is something handy for the vegans and veggies to eat in Istanbul!

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Re: is çiğ köfte really banned?

Post by turkeytom » Mon Mar 26, 2012 9:08 am

The plot thickens. I think I should let Louis, of http://www.sirkecirestaurants.com, have the authoritative word on this.

In the leaflet that goes with the Sirkeci Konak culinary walking tour, it's written that all çiğ köfte is now made of bulgur wheat because of "modern sanitary laws." It makes sense, but I wish they had a new name for the dish then, as it is not çiğ köfte. The fact that the term for a raw-meat dish is used for a now-meatless dish is pretty confusing.

But I suppose this means real çiğ köfte is indeed banned.

(Having contracted food poisoning far too many times in my career as a travel writer, I'm not a fan of raw meat, be it çiğ köfte, steack tartare or sashimi, so I have no first-hand experience of çiğ köfte.)

Tom Brosnahan

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Re: is çiğ köfte really banned?

Post by Bill_Miyorum » Tue Mar 27, 2012 11:49 pm

I have twice eaten a small portion of çiğ köfte. I am not tempted by this dish but on both occasions it would have been rude to refuse. Neither sample produced any ill effects but perhaps that was just good luck.

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Re: is çiğ köfte really banned?

Post by Tavsan » Tue May 01, 2012 12:08 am

I think Recep Usta in Ankara has it on its menu or it did in 2010 when we were there. That's the koefte that looks like you smooshed it by making a fist around it? The person we dined with loved it so I gave up mine easily to him. Not big on the raw meat dishes anywhere in the world.

Tavsan


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