You’d think Rome—maybe Mexico City or Tokyo. But the cities that SF’s food cognoscenti head to are Antakya and Gaziantep in Turkey—famous for dishes such as pit-roasted lamb, ravioli with garlic yogurt, and eggplant. Leading the way is Blue Odyssey’s Jale Boga, who creates customized culinary tours to her native country.

Depending on your wishes, Boga might take a group to a farm outside Istanbul owned by acclaimed chef Musa Dağdeviren, who will cook up lunch. She’ll hire a boat along the Mediterranean—complete with a private chef. You might learn how to make pomegranate molasses from villagers in Senkoy or get a taste of the ice cream in Maras. There’s also hiking, swimming, and ancient ruins to visit, but to understand Turkish food, you have to leave time to eat. Tip: From produce to weather, fall is the best time to go. Another? “Turks love foreigners,” says Boga. “You’ll be overwhelmed by their hospitality.”

This article was published in 7x7's May issue. Click here to subscribe.