Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Bolu: City of Chefs | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Bolu (Turkey)-My trip to Bolu, Turkey was like children fairytales, not only because of the city’s unique beauty and its silence that fill the spirit with peace, but also because of what I have learned about the city’s nature and people.

On my way to Bolu, the roads were perfectly beautiful like drawn paintings that inspire any artist. The road comprised lakes, mountains, green fields, old houses covered with red bricks, in addition to ports and high bridges located in the heart of nature.

I felt hungry, so we visited a restaurant near the bus station; its staff of seven women serves only one platter called “Gözleme” made of bread dough stuffed with meat and cooked with coffee beans and tomato sauce; I still remember its delicious taste. When we finished, I asked my friend about the secret behind women’s work in the restaurant, and why there are no men and chefs? He laughed and said “You saw nothing yet.”

We headed to the bus station to continue our path toward Mengen village; when we arrived, I saw a large iron statute featuring a chef with a big cooking pot; I asked my friend about it, he said that this village dates back to the Ottoman Age and was renown with its chefs, who worked in the ottoman palace, and that the majority of the village’s people work in cooking.

On our way to my friend’s home, in the cab, the driver told me that his son works as a chef in my home country Jordan and that he was a chef in Istanbul before he retired; I wasn’t surprised.
On the next day, during the breakfast, it was the first time I saw rose jam and it was one of the best foods I have ever eaten.

While the majority of the village’s people work in cooking, the restaurants in it are few because they all eat in their homes. But, my friend told me that there are some small restaurants that serve fast food meals like Shawarma. It is worth mentioning that the only university in the village also teaches cooking.

When my trip ended, I thanked my friend and his family, and demanded some of the rose jam.