Kumpir basically means potato in Turkish and is a fast food made of a baked potato with various fillings. Baking the potato in tinfoil, splitting it down the middle and mixing the insides with butter and cheese the potatoes are topped with piles of toppings and sold on the street. The area Ortaköy in Istanbul has become especially famous for this specific fast-food and now serve a wide range of toppings from the numerous food stalls.
Omer took us to Ortaköy with the sole purpose of showing us what he called “the best street-food” in Istanbul. Getting there we found a long row of food-stalls, neatly lined up appearing to be selling the exact same thing. Each stall displayed 15-20 different piles of colorful toppings; sauces, vegetables and meats. Throwing piles and piles of these toppings onto large baked potatoes these were quickly being handed over the counters. In spite of the amount of stalls there was a line in front of each; people waiting to get a topping-mountain-with-potato-underneath.
In a casual voice Omer asked: “What’s your favorite number?” Alex looked confused while I immediately answered “4”. Omer then headed towards stall number 4, saying “Well, it’s all the same, but choosing your favorite number should be good luck.”
Alex and I shared one of these giant creations, a mismatch of colors, intense flavors and indefinable textures. It was truly an experience.