Ask any expat living in Fethiye what they miss most about the UK, and cheese is usually fairly high on the list.
It’s not that there aren’t fabulous cheeses available – there are. But learning which ones suit your own established tastes can be a bit of a minefield.
The Yakamoz Hotel – a delightful setting
With that in mind, and given the success of Ploughman’s Lunch events earlier in the year, Mehmet Güven and his team at the Yakamoz Hotel in Ovacık decided a cheese & wine evening might prove popular, offering people the chance to try varieties they might not otherwise discover.
So, last Sunday, around 40 guests gathered around the pool in the beautiful hotel grounds, ready to treat their taste buds.
A delicious spread
Eight different kinds of cheese were served, ranging from Mihaliç made from sheep’s milk with a strong, salty taste) and İsli peyniri (a smoked cheese prepared in special pine smoke houses) to a selection of the artisan cheeses produced by Tangala Goat Farm, including their popular blue Tangazola (inspired by Gorgonzola) and the Brie-like Mera.
Complementing them was a fantastic spread of fresh and dried fruits, nuts, honey, olives, bread, crackers and breadsticks – a delicious meal on their own if you were that way inclined.
And let’s not forget the array of red, white, rosé and sparkling wines, everything from a merlot with delicious cherry flavours through to a crisp sauvignon blanc. Some of the labels were familiar, others not, so this was a great chance to try something new and discover fresh favourites. While guide notes were provided, indicating which wine was the best partner for each cheese, guests were, of course, free to choose their own preferences.
Multiple tastings of everything were positively encouraged; there was no limit. “People aren’t eating enough – have more cheese, try some more wine,” Mehmet was heard to say on more than one occasion.
An enchanting evening
It was hard to refuse. Sitting in such stunning surroundings on a balmy September evening, with singer and saxophonist John Stuifzand unobtrusively providing background music that exactly suited the event, the ambience was conducive to relaxed and prolonged dining.
And then, just when you thought it was all over and you couldn’t manage another mouthful, out came the home-made lemon cheesecake – light, zesty and the perfect end to the evening. Oh, go on then – just a small slice…
Plans are currently in hand for a repeat event in October 2017 – keep an eye on Fethiye Times for the date and further details.
The Yakamoz Hotel is a sales point for a range of Tangala Goat Farm’s artisan cheeses.
Click here for more information about the Yakamoz Hotel
Contact details for John Stuifzand:
Mobile: 00 90 539 437 7020
This article was written for Fethiye Times by Rebecca Parsley
Rebecca & Steve Parsley are both former journalists with experience in newspapers, magazines and on radio. Since 2006 they have run their own communications agency, specialising in social media and online content writing. They moved to Turkey just over three years ago and live in Kayaköy with their German Shepherd dog, Dillon – formerly a street dog – and two cats. When not slaving over their keyboards or walking in the local countryside, they enjoy watching motorsport – especially Formula 1 – and are also salsa dance addicts.