We left New Zealand with a real sense of purpose to our trip: to explore the foods, traditions, flavors of the Mediterranean coast. So yes it was a work trip - we just happened to have a great time as well :)

We choose the Mediterranean coast as Mufide is from Antalya in the eastern part of the Mediterranean. Since she had lived in many different parts of the country during her working life, she knew where to go and was a wonderful guide.

The Mediterranean coast is a place where Eastern cultures with their old traditions and cooking styles meet our Western culture. We experienced this especially in Istanbul where we began our trip. Life on the two sides of the Bosporus bridge comes together in a wonderful mix of Eastern and Western culture, food and architecture. We loved the great variety of fresh seafood being offered where ever we went.

We loved to taste and explore the simple street food sold in the Mediterranean and the wonderful markets. The spices and the combinations they were used in was fascinating, as was the local drying and preserving techniques for vegetables and fruits. Food preservation is all done with sunlight as it is so much hotter and dryer than New Zealand.

Following on from Turkey and our Mediterranean experience, we travelled to South Korea. Staying in the university part of Seoul gave us another insight into a different culture and with it’s traditions (and of course unique cuisine).

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