Our dear friend and soon-to-be sister-in-law, Gail, sent us the most lovely gift from the Middle East – ground Turkish coffee, an ibrik (special Turkish coffee pot) and a baggie full of a spice combination called zaatar.
I have only had real Turkish coffee once, at a restaurant in New York. My not-so-funny dining companion (you know who you are) instructed me to give it a good stir before I drank it. Luckily, he called off the prank because that is not how you drink Turkish coffee. More on this later.
Turkish coffee is derived from the Arabica bean and is ground to a very fine powder. Cardamom pods are sometimes added to the beans as they are being ground (ours was of this variety and …delicious). Gail suggested that we visit YouTube and check out a video by Mustafa Arat on how to make this tasty concoction before we went any further.
I watched this a couple of times and made my first, and definitely not last, pot of Turkish coffee. Important note! There will be a lot of undissolved, leftover sludgy stuff in the bottom of your cup. Do not drink it!
Gail let us know that zaatar contains oregano, basil, thyme, savory and sesame seeds and is used on everything – from Greek yogurt with olive oil to bread to meats. I thought we should try it on bread first and used it on the remaining flatbread dough from when I made the coca mentioned in an earlier post.
The ibrik, coffee, and zaatar (also spelled zaa’tar) can all be found in New York at Kalustyan’s, a gold mine for hard-to-find ingredients and an amazing place to kill a couple of hours. Luckily, they also have a website with online ordering.
The Turks have a saying that “one cup of coffee is worth forty years of friendship.” Thanks, Gail. We look forward to it.