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Sweetcorn vendors at Eminönö, Istanbul

Istanbul: A sweetcorn vendor by Eminönü Bridge in Istanbul with gaudy balik-ekmek ('fish in bread') boats in the background on which fresh Mackerel is grilled and served up in sandwiches with a heavy dose of raw onion.

Stories abound among tourists as to the reason behind preparing balik-ekmek on boats. Supposedly its roots lie with a group of enterprising boatmen who realised that by cooking their catch directly on the boat they could sell it more quickly and at multiple locations around the Golden Horn. However, apparently it now also serves to circumvent a food health and safety law that might otherwise prevent them from operating.

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Istanbul Eminono Balik Ekmek.jpg
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© Rob Pinney
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Istanbul: A sweetcorn vendor by Eminönü Bridge in Istanbul with gaudy balik-ekmek ('fish in bread') boats in the background on which fresh Mackerel is grilled and served up in sandwiches with a heavy dose of raw onion.<br />
<br />
Stories abound among tourists as to the reason behind preparing balik-ekmek on boats. Supposedly its roots lie with a group of enterprising boatmen who realised that by cooking their catch directly on the boat they could sell it more quickly and at multiple locations around the Golden Horn. However, apparently it now also serves to circumvent a food health and safety law that might otherwise prevent them from operating.