kumpir

In our first wanderings about Istanbul, we passed a couple of places serving what looked like an exploding potato. Turned out it’s something called kumpir – stuffed potato. We watched one being made up at a stand with plenty of interest. First they whip the potato inside the skin with butter until it’s like mashed potatos wearing a jacket. Then the stuffing begins: a collection of salads lay in front of the stuffer and he just spoons them all in. Twelve seemed to be the magic number, including a beet salad, an olive salad, sour cream, a pea and carrot salad, and many more that I can’t remember any more – it all just kind of blends together when you eat it. The taste? Exactly how you’d expect 12 salads in a baked potato to taste. Oh, it’s no gourmet product soon to be seen in the top restaurants of New York, but it’s yummy and filling and a fun story to tell, all in one little potato.

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