As both an avid traveler and a socially-conscious eater, I struggle with striking a balance between experiencing the local culture and sticking to my dietary values.
İzmir is surprisingly vegetarian-friendly. Just about every restaurant has multiple vegetarian options, and the popular cafeteria-style restaurants offer a smorgasbord of traditional vegetable dishes, soups, and salads.
But despite this, whenever I ask a Turkish person what traditional foods I should try, they reply, ''Oooh köfte! ...But you don't eat meat....Maybe you could try it anyway?''
And now I have.
Albeit, my version was made of corn and mashed beans, soft in the middle but fried to a crisp. It may not be the old way, but Turkey is a developing country, and this is one new development I hope will stick around.