Tribute to Tantuni

tantuni.jpgWhen finely chopped meat roasted in water and fat is wrapped in a thin sheet of dough, a miracle called Tantuni is born. For some, the weird name stems from the sound (Tan-Tun) the wooden spoon makes when it hits the container whilst stirring the meat. Thanks God, the sound is not something like Hart-Hurt, then the kebap would be named Harthurti. Tantuni is served with hot pepper pickles or finely sliced radish.

Mostly all nights of excessive alcohol consumption in Taksim end up in a Tantuni place and one cannot get enough of Tantuni. The cook who delivers the most delicious Tantuni in Taksim is Suat Usta (Suat, the chef) who has migrated to Istanbul from Mersin, the hometown of Tantuni.

He used to have a little shop with only two stools; now he has expanded the business with a few more stools. He is distinguished from other chefs with his slender figure (most Turkish cooks have big, fat bellies.) I find it fascinating that such a thin man can cook so well. Long live Tantuni.

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