Have spatula will travel

From the New York Times: Have Spatula Will Travel.

Insights that might never occur to you while eating hot yogurt soup in a restaurant in Istanbul suddenly take on a surprising clarity when making that soup yourself in a hotel kitchen there — the combination of the delicate egg yolks, tangy yogurt, lemon and mint evoking both a past where nomadic Turks first turned milk into yogurt and a present where their descendants eat the thick and creamy creation with almost every meal.

Two summers ago, that moment was mine. I stood in an intimate cooking class at the Sarnic Hotel, in Sultanahmet, or Old Istanbul, as the hotel’s chef guided me and four other students (my friend Carla, a Canadian couple also on vacation in Istanbul and a Japanese woman living in the city) through the preparation of a five-course traditional Turkish meal in the Sarnic’s unfussy professional kitchen.

The melding of both culinary and cultural lessons began in the lobby of the lovely Sarnic where Eveline Zoutendijk, the Dutch proprietor and host of the cooking class, greeted us and gave a short introduction to the long history of Turkish food. "The Turks were nomads," she explained, "which is why they eat flatbread, yogurt, cheese and grilled meats. It was the Ottomans who later used saffron, pistachios, rice and other expensive, imported items."

In the Sarnic’s kitchen, we [continue]