Making miso soup to Kurdish people in Turkey

We have met a lot of nice Kurdish people as we traveled from near the Turkish border in Iran to SouthEast Turkey. I tried making miso soup to some of them, but the fact is, none of them liked it.

We were just walking down the street in Tabriz where is the Iranian border town near Turkey. One middle-aged man offered us a cup of chai at his small shop that sells salt, sugar, and other basic miscellaneous goods for daily use. He said he was a Kurdish man.
Our impression on this dusty lonely border town changed to warm thanks to him and I started to like and wonder about the Kurdish people and the culture.

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We have met some nice Kurdish people in Turkey as well.

There is the first village that Noah created after he got off the boat near Dogubayazit. I never known that this story takes place in Turkey and appears not only in Bible but also in Koran to be honest. Many people here have semi nomadic life style as they own houses down the mountains. This area was lush and deep green and so beautiful that I thought God’s created it for his enjoinment and fun.

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“Salam alaikum”
“Alaikum salam.” He replied smilingly. What a positive energy can be stimulated through this great greeting.
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We again were offered chai by a family near the village.
We repeated “Saol”, means thank you, to them and left.
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It was Kurdish bothers who run a hotel where we gave it a try to sleep in Dogubayazit. They offered us a sofa on a terrace to sleep for very cheap price after we told them that the rooms fees are way above our budget. They kept feeding us while we stayed there for three nights. They explained that it is the Kurdish culture to host guests nicely.
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So I decided to make miso soup to this guy who hosted us to show our appreciation.

I took it consideration that in Turkey, people eat eggplants often with lots of salt and oil. Eggplants miso soup seemed to be a good idea.

I stir fried the eggplants with lots of oil, then added salt. Added them into the boiling water then quickly added miso to finish up. It was a bit too salty for me, but not bad at all, I thought.

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“How is the taste of the soup?”
“Very bad!”

I thought it’s a joke at first! It’s the first time ever in this travel that I got this clear statement that it is bad. He said,
“I cannot eat this kind of saltless, oilless food. No taste.”

Then he started to sprinkle lots and lots of salt on the bowl. It was nice of him who tried to finish it all by drinking Ayran, Turkish yogurt drink, right after throwing the eggplants into his mouth.
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He said,
“Look! I finished it all!” with full of confidence on his face.

Oh, I looked at the bowl but he left all of the soup part. He eat just the eggplants. The soup is the good part, man!

This was the beginning of the struggle with my miso soup in Turkey.

I always get excited but nervous when I make miso soup to someone especially who never tired it before. I am afraid if they don’t enjoy it. This time, my expectations on miso collapsed…

Anyway, big thanks to this guy who hosted us nicely and taught us about the Kurdish and Turkish culture. ;p I really hope to see him again to offer him many different kinds of Japanese dish someday.

Here are the boys who are helping the kitchen in the hotel. I gave them bowls for an experience as well. 🙂
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