Letter From an Istanbul Kitchen Part 6: Orhan’s Sucuk Stand. 25 Years of Sausage

On a cold Winters night in Istanbul, Zubeyir, the Kurdish meat house, is sold out and my dreams of lamb ribs are evaporating into the nether. So it goes on a busy Friday night in the Beyoglu. My mind awhirl I begin rifling through my mental Istanbul Eats archive I keep stored in a dusty corner of my brain. Remembering tales of sucuk near Macka parkĀ  I begin my hike.

A few minutes later I’m strolling past the Ritz Carlton and having a good laugh at the swells inside drinking their high dollar cocktails with nary a link of sucuk in sight. As I near the foot of the hill [I only have a rough idea where I’m going] I see a little cart across the busy thoroughfare with bright lights and sausages on strings swaying in the winter breeze.

I sprint over and begin quizzing the owner who assures me he has plenty sucuk and he’d be happy to make me a loaf. The man begins plying his craft and I watch like a hungry hound. This is deluxe sucuk: tons of sausage is cut into rough hunks, charred on a grill then stuffed into a crusty loaf of fresh bread with a few slices of tomato, onions, lettuce, cabbage and a thorough administering of red chile. His creation is presented with a bemused smile as he notes my eager face.

I seat myself on a tiny stool behind the cart and tear in. My mind races as the garlicky beef flavor begins to hit. Like any good cook there is a balance and symetry to Orhan Bey’s flavors that bespeaks serious talent no matter how humble the dish.

This is fine street food served by a sucuk usta with a quarter century anchoring one little chunk of asphalt in the big village of Istanbul.

Orhan’s Sucuk Stand is located across from Macka Park Underneath the Kamikaze Tower

About RL Reeves Jr

I'm a writer living and working in New Orleans, Louisiana.
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One Response to Letter From an Istanbul Kitchen Part 6: Orhan’s Sucuk Stand. 25 Years of Sausage

  1. Pingback: On This Day In 2009: Orhan’s Sucuk Stand In Istanbul Turkiye | Scrumptious Chef

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