We can only speak for the UK here, but you can’t beat pulling over at the side for the road for a good meaty snack when the opportunity arises. Usually in Britain, it’s someone doing a really good burger from a burger van and you always feel really satisfied after you’ve eaten it.
The second time we came to Fethiye on holiday, we met a Turkish girl in Deep Blue Bar and went to Hisarönü later on for the night. You know how it is; few too many beers, leave the bar, look for a taxi…smell the food van! It was the smell of fillet steak. We said, ‘I want some of that,’ and the Turkish girl replied, ‘Oh you can’t. You don’t eat it.’ That didn’t concern us and we marched off towards the van. She explained while we were in the queue that it was kokoreç (lamb’s intestine) and the European Union would prefer it if Turkey didn’t sell it…that’s a discussion for another time.
We asked for our kokoreç in confident fashion. It came on a half bread (still does), very finely chopped up and of course both of us asked for extra chillies. After a few drinks, a kokoreç half-bread is amazing and almost resembles the taste of a fillet stake sandwich (beer tastebuds?). We thoroughly enjoyed it that night…and then woke up the next morning thinking, ‘What were we thinking?’
Needless to say, we’ve since had a good few kokoreç sandwiches on our route back from Deep Blue Bar of an evening. You can smell it from a good distance away – fillet steak smell at night, ‘too much beer reminder’ in the day times. I can’t eat it in the day time – my problem – because it’s almost become the ‘walking home from the bar butty,’ and then if the van is still there in the daytime, somehow, the smell doesn’t quite do it for me. Barry’s still a fan. You’ve got to try it though. It’s great. A bit like having a döner kebab in Blighty (which is actually NOT a real döner kebab) on your way home at night. Lovely but you wish you hadn’t done it the day after.
So, should you feel the need for a snack on a journey – on foot or by car – and you see the traditional white van with the chimney a’smokin, get yourself a kokoreç half bread. It’s chopped up super small and mixed with chillies and salad and put on your bread and squashed down. If you can’t face it, these vans usually do a mean köfte ekmek (little beef burger) as well. Oh, and take note of the big tubs of pickles on the tables too. Good service! You can’t eat a decent half bread without a plate of pickles.
Update 2012: Fethiye now has a fast food outlet, specialising in kokoreç. Click here to read about Şampiyon Kokoreç.