Jan 12, 2010

Are you sure this is regular pudding?

... it wasn't.

It was that elusive Turkish dessert dish, chicken pudding. Unlike most tavuk sütlaç, prepared with a thick slice of chicken in the middle, mine was finely shredded into the pudding. I didn't discover this immediately, of course. Foolishly, I had been confident that in my brief discussion with the man at the bakery, we had established what I was eating.

"Is this chicken pudding?" I had asked in Turkish, straining my ears for a Turkish "yes."

What followed wasn't yes, no, or maybe. I took his rapidfire answer as "why of course, this is a regular meat-free version of pudding." What he probably said was "oh it's so much more than just chicken pudding - it's chicken pudding in which the meat is minced so finely you'd think it was baby food! Nigh-undetectable, that chicken is!"

I, the trusting foreigner, nodded obligingly and took a hefty first bite.

"Funny," I thought, "I've never describe a pudding as sinewy before."

Many bites later, I figured it out. You know what? It wasn't bad at all.

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