Hot on the scent of the indigenous maras pepper, SF food critic Patricia Unterman got an authentic taste of the cuisine and culture of southeastern Turkey. Her adventure took her through city bazaars to the countryside, tasting everything she could get her hands on along the way. Her full story can be found in the February Eat+Drink Issue of 7x7, but you can get a taste of the journey in the slideshow above.
Patricia Unterman's Spice Trail to Turkey
Some kebab connoisseurs say the best come from the southeast of Turkey. Squared skewers prevent the kebabs from rolling around.
At Cinar ALti Kunefe, owner Yusef flips every kunefe (a traditional TUrkish dessert) himself.
For tray kebab, chopped lamb and seasonings are roasted in a wood-burning oven alongside fresh bread.
The covered market in Gaziantep is a feast for the senses with garlands of dried peppers and eggplant hanging everywhere.
Before maras peppers can be dried in the sun, they're prepped by day laborers, many of them Syrian refugees.
Once the stems are removed, the maras peppers are placed in the sun to dry outside Gaziantep.