Though only finger-sized, hamsi -- anchovies that come mostly from the Black Sea region -- loom large in the imagination of Turkish eaters. The little fish's arrival in late fall is greeted with great fanfare and some of the dishes that the humble hamsi is used in, such as a rice pilaf infused with spices and herbs, are treated with utter reverence.
Robyn Eckhardt, creator of the EatingAsia blog, has clearly caught the hamsi bug. In a wonderful piece that ran in yesterday's New York Times, Eckhardt describes a recent journey she made to Turkey's northern Black Sea coast in search of what turns out be an elusive catch. From her piece:
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