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Yashim Cooks Istanbul

Yashim Cooks Istanbul

By Jason Goodwin

Published 2016

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In the Egyptian bazaar

Bartered and bought, fought for and pilfered

“Instead of taking a caique up the Golden Horn, Yashim descended the hill by the Sublime Porte and crossed in front of the Nurisyane, where he had found the litter-bearers the night before. Passing the entrance to the Egyptian bazaar he hesitated, then plunged in. The rich aromas of cinnamon and cloves, of cumin, coriander and pounded ginger made his head whirl. Mountains of vividly coloured powder rose on every stall, pungent spices gathered from all across the world, from the coasts of India and the mountains of China, from Persia and Arabia and the islands of the South Seas, brought here to this great entrepot of the world’s trade by dhow, by carrack, by camel train and mule train, over deserts, through wild seas, crossing the passes of legendary mountain ranges, bartered and bought, fought for and pilfered, growing ever more valuable and rare until, at last, they reached this market on the edge of Europe, and vanished into a soup, or a dish of rice.