Thursday, March 31, 2011
The Curious Case of Sogus
Our search for locating the ultimate Turkish street food, söğüş (read soe -gh -ues) in Istanbul started online after reading this post on Istanbuleats. The address given there is Kalyoncu Kulluk caddesi. Don't start typing it in your GPS software now. Cause the municipalities in Istanbul change names of the streets faster than any software. The name of the street on which Muammer Usta's sogus stand is located has a new name now. Don't ask me what the new name is, since it's relatively hard to find your way by looking at street names around Taksim.
Best way to find it is to look for the entrance of the Balık Pazarı (Fishermans Market) on Istiklal caddesi.
Then walk to the end of the end of the street, asking where Asmaaltı cafe is in case you -like us- are not able to follow a straight line. Left of the cafe, there is a very modest stand, which ,according to its owner Muammer Usta, is the mother of all sogus stands.
Sogus is served on paper towels. Don't forget that in Istanbul - maybe in Turkey- the taste of the food is inversely proportional to how splendid it is served. Unlike Izmir, there are no sandwich breads involved, meaning you get more of the good stuff. Brain is also not normally included. We were lucky to find 2 pieces. Head meat, Parsley, onions, cumin and chili promises you bliss.
According to Muammer Usta, kelle sogus comes from the remote Anatolian city of Nigde. His family have been preparing kelle sogus in Istanbul since 1890. After a family argument one of his great uncle moved to Izmir, and starting the sogus craze there.