America's #1 Balance Bike Destination

America's #1 Balance Bike Destination
America's #1 Balance Bike Destination

07 September 2008

Turkey wins World Cup Qualifier match with Armenia 2-0

We attended the Greek Festival in Cranston last night and had some great food and listened to live music while our kids danced and played for hours. A copy of the Festival program book found me at one point and as I was pawing through it I noticed an advertisement by a local deli/grocery which sells foods of the "near east". In the full page ad were the flags of the countries which I presume were the target audience: Lebanon, Syria, Greece, Armenia.. but no Turkish flag. Fine and dandy.. Our meandering in between rain showers today brings us close enough to this store that I can't resist visiting and checking it out. We go inside- not a single Turkish product- just lots of lesser quality knock-offs. We settled on some frozen lahmacun, Bulgarian cheese and Syrian bread. $31. Then I double back to buy my son the ice cream which I promised him and forgot about. It's from Lithuania. Of all the places from which to import ice cream.. Lithuania. Yikes. It was good and all, don't get me wrong.. but where does Lithuania fit into the 'near east' theme when there are about five world class brands of ice cream offered from Turkey?.. What can I say? At the Greek Festival, our party of five adults and two children attracted the attention of the vocalist, a heavy set pear shaped man of about 65, who tirelessly belted out Greek songs for hours on end... From a distance he could see that we all danced and moved a lot differently than all the others [who seem content to simply hold hands and run and skip around in circles]. At the end of his last piece, we all applauded with our hands over our heads and he blew us a kiss. A little later [I'm sure it was] Father Andrew E George [who] came by our table under the tent and thanked us for coming. A good man.. and good times were had by all.. Back to the Armenian grocery.. would we be shoveling shit against the tide if we asked them to bring in some of our favorite Turkish products? They even had fake 'Gazoz', which is just wrong. Did I mention.. Gyro farts are the absolute worst, bar none? Thanks for reading.

21 comments:

Metin said...

At the modern Persian version of the modern supermarket near where I live, I can always find Turkish products. So I guess I am lucky.

But when it comes to 'feta' or 'white' cheese, do you find the Bulgarian or the French the tastiest... definitely not the cheaper Turkish or Greek one...

By the way, I also find many Turkish products at the local Armenian store in the O.C. But those guys are the Armenians who emigrated from Turkey, albeit a long time ago.

If you go to Glendale, CA, near LA, you'd be shot if you asked for Turkish products at the Armenian Diaspora stores, complete with voodoo dolls and pins to stick the Turks with the curse...

Ertan said...

I guess we are Lucky on this side of the world, In my home town we have 7 Turkish 'Gida Pazarz' and in a 80 klm radius maybe over 100. Fresh Turkish bread at $2aud everyday and Uludag and bottled ayran.

Metin Bulgarian Feta is better tasting then any Greek and Turkish feta. But French???

Armenians get along with Turks in the city I live in. But the Greeks are a different issue.

Metin said...

Ertan,

Maybe it's my taste buds, but the French 'feta' is less salty, and more buttery.

I guess that's why it's $5.99 a pound versus $2.99 and $3.99 for the Greek and Turkish ones.

By the way, we can't call it 'feta,' unless it's Greek I guess. Just like a Californian sparkling wine is not Champagne. Oh those French!!!

:)

Murat Altinbasak said...

We didn't get white cheese, we bought a wheel of some kind of 'Kashar' peynir. It's not bad actually. Krinos brand. They call it something else.

Metin said...

I like that too. And 'kashkaval.'

Great melted and straight up...

rokkafellah said...

Hey Murat, I actually have that exact same cheese! lol

Ardent said...

There is no way I would buy frozen Lahmacun and eat it. Yuk!

My favorite Feta is 'Dodoni' which is Greek. I don't like Feta buttery but with a lemony taste.

With the Bulgarian Feta, sometimes I buy it and it tastes nice other times less than average. I enquired to the Deli owner as to why the inconsistency in flavour. He told me that in Bulgaria, people make the cheese at home and sell it to a Co-operative, who then sells it commercially. Person A may make it better the Person B, Person C has no idea but they all sell to the Co-operative, therefore the inconsistency. Dodoni is made by the same Factory in Greece.

A lovely, young Turkish-Cypriot lady I know recently holidayed in the U.S. Whilst in California she attended a basketball match. Seated in front of her were some people who were happy to converse and laugh with her. They were all having a good time until they asked her what accent she had and her nationality. She said that she was Australian of Turkish descent. After that the people in front did not turn their back to socialize with her again. She understood they must of been Armenian.

There are not many Armenians in Australia but plently of Greeks who I must say I get on well with. The majority can be very diplomatic and hospitable people.

Internation Musing said...

French Feta? They even don't know the word feta in French..))

Had this weekend a friend of Ozlem over, a Turkish opera singer, who resides in LA, close to Glendale where she often goes for groceries, and no problems at all.

Its all about your own attitude, as Tufan, a friend of mine married to an Armenian woman explained. And I know quite a lot of Turks who hates everything what has to do with Greeks, Armenians, Kurds etc.
Not only Greeks and Armenians hates but Turks as well!.)

Metin said...

Here's an article about all different kinds of 'feta' in the U.S., although the article is old, it still appllies to today.

By the way, Valbreso is the French feta brand.

Louis Mauffret, a Lactalis spokesman in New York, says Valbreso has 45 percent of the imported feta market in the United States, well ahead of Greece at 17 percent.

As for Glendale, LA . . . I try to stay away from there. And it's not just the Turks who stay away from there . . .Too ghetto . . . and too many gangs . . .

Internation Musing said...

Metin,
Maybe each village in France makes their own cheese; goat, sheep, cow based milk cheese. But I never heard about French feta; the Americans made the same mistake by calling papates: French fries..)

Internation Musing said...

Patates is the Dutch word, for Belgiums is it frites and for French Pommes frites...)

Murat Altinbasak said...

Ardent,
What would you have me do for Lahmacun? My wife makes it fresh when the mood strikes.. but they also pre-package a dozen of them and flash freeze them somewhere down in New Jersey. You throw them in a pre-heated oven and they are an adequate substitute. If I lived in NYC or NJ even things would be different. Providence Rhode Island is not exactly a mecca for authentic Turkish food. The nearest is an hour away in Boston or 90 minutes away in New Haven CT.

Metin said...

Hans,

You should try Valbreso. And it's not the Americans who call that feta. It's the French. And you should try it sometime. The French are only good at making cheese anyway.

But in any case, like I said a few comments ago, you're not supposed to call any cheese 'feta' unless it's Greek.

Otherwise, the European police will come and get you.

:)

Murat,

Have you ordered anything via Tulumba on the net? If so, how has been your experience?

Gulay said...

Metin, re Tulumba, Gulay and I have ordered from there and it was okay. Its the shipping that kills you though! Fortunatley we have enough stores in NJ that we can when the mood takes us drive for an hour and shop in Paterson/Clifton and get stuff fresh but we have some issues in the stores there, such as stuff past its sell by date etc.

As for FETA the most surprising fact is that Denmark or more precisely Arla produces more white cheese than anybody else but thanks to the EU label nazis only the Greeks get to call it FETA, pure bullshit really. We could buy Arla Mediterranean Cheese for a while in NJ and it was excellent but perhaps not salty enough for my taste. Now we are stuck with Athenos brand from the local supermarket. How is it that Turks as a country have surrendered our national identity so cheaply!!!!

And there is nothing wrong with frozen lahmucan at 2am on a Saturday morning after a few Efes, Yeni Raki etc. with friends, beats the hell out of McD, just got to remember to take the wrapping off......

Metin said...

I've actually visited Tulumba's warehouse in Brooklyn, NY, and wasn't impressed. But for people who live in, say Oklahoma, it might be a god resource... I guess...

For those of you who'd like to see how the French Valbreso Feta looks packaged (and it says so on the package -- talk about violations by the French), as well as the Turkish white cheese by Bahcivan, you can visit my link. (I know... I know... cheap way to promote my blog...)

As for myself, I like to buy my white cheese fresh and in block form from the deli of my local near eastern market, and in sterile packaging...

Although Bahcivan is not that bad...

Ertan said...

every new comment i read i seriously am starting to feel sorry for you guys.. frozen Lahmacun, mail order Tulumba, Fake Uludag.

what about sucuk, pastirma, proper turkish pide???

We have a turkish food glut over here and you poor souls have to travel hours or mail order your food.. everytime I have a drink ill pour some out of my cup for all those turks out there that are living with out traditional food..

word to your mother.

Sean said...

Most of the products at the Armenian stores that I visit are actually from Turkey.

Metin, you are clearly wrong on this one. But it's not worth arguing over. The reason why I visited this blog today, after months of being absent, is because of all the news about Armenian and Turkish cooperation, for the game and since then. Only time will tell if this was a good thing or bad, however, I am cautiously optimistic.


This article was a surprise for me. I sure hope it's true:

http://www.azg.am/EN/2008091001

Metin said...

Sean,

I am wrong about which one?

I made several points, and the least of which is the disagreeing with the Armenian-Turkish relations.

In fact, I've been a fervent supporter of dialogue and the Gul visit to Armenia...

Glendale doesn't represent the whole of Armenians, just like the Kadikoy mob doesn't represent Turkish sportsmanship, and the PLO or Hamas doesn't represent all of the Arabs or palestinians, etc...

Sorry if I came across otherwise...

Sean said...

Metin, I was refering to this comment: "If you go to Glendale, CA, near LA, you'd be shot if you asked for Turkish products at the Armenian Diaspora stores"

My first sentence was meant to clarify which comment I was referring to.

Here is another interesting article:

http://www.turkishdailynews.com.tr/article.php?enewsid=115106

Metin said...

Sean,

Lighten up!

I didn't mean you'd be shot literally...

but there are a lot of gangs in Glendale. And I wouldn't want to be in the crossfire between the Latinos and the Armenians (gangs that is)...

Sean said...

Metin, I wasn't angree about your comment. I was just saying that that's not the case. That's all. I even said that it wasn't worth arguing over. just a minor point.