Lale Sürmen Aran

Turkish Coffee: From Ethiopia to Bosphorus

Coffee is a beloved drink and has a special place in the Turkish culture. A fruit indigenous fruit to Ethiopia, it has a long story before it became to be known as the “Turkish Coffee”. Coffee first appeared as a food item, then it became a drink. Out of Ethiopia, it first made it’s way […]


Culture is strongly bound with language, food and beverages. Every good traveler knows that it is essential to taste and sip local delicacies.   The story behind the national drinks of different cultures can be amazing. In Turkey, mystical cloudy “rakı” takes the center stage. Once tried, travelers are guaranteed to remember the strong anise […]

A Mediterranean Get Away

It is a business routine for me to join Rick Steves’ groups randomly to inspect what goes on first hand. Last week I had a trip to the amazing Mediterranean coastline of Turkey for this purpose. This time my sons joined me benefiting their weeklong spring break, morphing my business trip into a Mediterranean family […]

Cooking Class

Learning about eating habits, traditions and cuisine of a culture is an important element of travel.   For this reason, we modified a city walk of the Rick Steves Istanbul tour and incorporated a culinary experience within. The city tour is conducted with food tasting now. So, our travelers joining this tour are getting a great exposure […]