Fethiye – Winter – Street Food – Istanbul – A Stream Of Thought

December on the blog has been really interesting for us. December is the month where we – and just about every other blog / publication / tv or music show out there – look back on the year that’s passed and then write various posts about it. And we will be doing that…It’s just that we’ve kind of become caught up in our photo-a-day New Year countdown on our Facebook page and, as you know, much of that has been shared here on the blog, too.

And what’s also interesting is that we fully intended to share lots of ‘photo-a-days’ from our previous travels around Turkey, but the recent weather in Fethiye has meant we’ve been out wandering at almost every opportunity…and well, hasn’t it just been a Fethiye fest of photos? I just can’t put my camera down, I’m afraid. No complaints or apologies from this little camp. That’s just how things have turned out – and that’s because Fethiye has really taken us over so far this winter.

Kestane Kebap, Fethiye, Turkey

Buying kestane (chestnuts) along Fethiye harbour

And, as it’s weekend and we’ve concentrated on Turkish food during weekends throughout 2014, we’re on Turkish food again. Street food, to be precise. Guess what; the photo above is again in Fethiye. This photo was taken on the same day as the photos in our Sundays along Fethiye kordon post from a few days ago, and this photo is what today’s post is all about. We’re on winter and we’re on street food that says winter. We’re on kestane!

Kestane (chestnuts) just say ‘winter’ to us, wherever we are in Turkey, and it’s great to see a mobile stand along the kordon in Fethiye serving up freshly cooked chestnuts. Chestnuts on the go – how good is that? We’ve got no idea how much these are trading for – you buy them served in a little paper bag and they’re priced per set amount of grams (you can see the little set of scales on the red stand). We were going to have some when we took this photo – but we were en route home from a Fethiyespor match and had munched our way through a particularly filling balık ekmek from Popeye’s fish sandwich boat just before the game. We were just too full…

Chestnut Vendor, Istanbul

Kestane for sale in Sultanahmet

And this is where we are with our streams of thought at the moment with the blog. The top photo is today’s photo of the day on our Turkey’s For Life on Instagram…and kestane took us to winter…and kestane and winter took us to Istanbul. Our last few Istanbul jaunts have all been in winter because we’ve either been there for my birthday (February) or for the Istanbul marathon (November).

Everywhere, street traders have freshly cooked kestane for sale in winter. It’s a familiar comfort sight for us. The black and white photo above is taken from a previous post about Istanbul street food – all of them black and white photos. I remembered that when I was thinking of kestane and winter – I like the photo…so I hunted it out again and that lead to remembering this photo, too, from our last trip to Istanbul in 2013…

Kestane In Eminönü, Istanbul

A kestane stand in Eminönü, Istanbul

…not because it’s a great photo – it’s not – but because we love that hot kestane is a winter street food snack in many places in Turkey, and because this photo was just one of many we took on a beautiful sunny day where we’d done a stroll around the outer grounds of Topkapı Palace and Gülhane Park. We’d walked down to Eminönü just to enjoy its overcrowded, noisy, chaotic atmosphere before we headed back to Fethiye later that day.

And so continues the stream of thought… We’ll be in Istanbul again soon – not sure when yet – kestane is Turkey is winter – chestnuts roasting on an open fire and all that…Christmas and New Year are almost upon us.

And then there’s that other stream of thought that is pushing forward in my head, too, while I’m typing this. We’ve got Turkey to thank for enjoying chestnuts as a foodstuff. If you’ve had any sort of similar background to us, these little roasted beauties are usually left raw. They’re not food. They’re a display of skill and victory. They’re knocked from trees and (sometimes) varnished; a hole is put through them and they’re threaded onto an old shoelace; and you play a game where you try to knock the **** out of your opponent’s threaded chestnut concoction – until the teachers at school ban your game lest anyone gets injured.

This is the secret double life of the chestnut. It’s only in adulthood we’ve eaten and enjoyed chestnuts. But really…deep down somewhere, they’ll always be the same for us…they’re conkers!

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  1. good morning – love the strings of thought idea. It’s something we do all the time yet think little about.
    Expect you always lost at ‘conkers’ if you were using sweet chestnuts (Castanea sativa) instead of Horse Chestnuts (Aesculus hippocastanum) hardened by various secret recipes as per your opponents.

    • Ha ha, never even knew there were different conkers to use, Alan – got to admit it was more of a boys game than one for the girls. Yes, we do like a stream of thought every now and then. Like you said, we always have them but rarely record them. 🙂

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