Everyone knows baklava, that pastry which layers crispy phyllo dough with a sweet, nutty filling. But most of us know only the traditional variety: rectangular pastries filled with a mixture of almonds and walnuts. Unsurprisingly, since the sweet dates back to at least the 15th century, there are many more varieties than that.
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What I generally do when visiting a new food city is ask local food writers where the must-eat spots are; or, if I'm really lucky, have one show me around. So if I'd headed to Turkey, I'd probably have asked the folks at Istanbul Eats to give me a little tour. But they're about three steps ahead of me, as they're already in the business of leading small groups to eating destinations: Istanbul Eats Walks. And the day I spent on one of their tours was easily the best eating day I had in Istanbul.
Breakfast is, without a doubt, my favorite meal of the day. Partaking in local breakfast traditions is one of my favorite parts about traveling. And I'll venture to say that Turkey does breakfast really, really well.
Although it's definitely a tourist magnet, the Egyptian Spice Market in Istanbul houses some wonderful sweet shops. You can find many of the common favorites, but Turkish delight, known to the locals as lokum, is the most plentiful find. Check out the slideshow to find out what makes good Turkish delight and to see eight top picks from the variety of flavors.