The Baklava Club

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Yashim Cooks Istanbul

Yashim Cooks Istanbul

By Jason Goodwin

Published 2016

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Yashim’s last adventure contains a Polish prince, a band of Italian revolutionaries, a dream of food – and baklava, the quintessential Ottoman treat, still made wherever the horsetail standards flew.

“On Thursdays he went early to market, and bought the finest ingredients his friend George could bring to his stall: tiny aubergines, peppers as long and curled as Turkish slippers, fresh white onions, okra, beans. Later, Palewski would come into the room, sniffing the air, surprising Yashim by his knack for guessing what he’d made for dinner. A chicken, perhaps, Persian style with walnuts and pomegranate juice; mackerel stuffed with nuts and fruits, and grilled; a succession of little meze, soups, dolma, or aromatic rice. Once he had brought a Frenchman to dine with them, too, and as a consequence a man had died – and Stanislaw Palewski had saved Yashim’s life.