I am from Bursa, in Turkey and my husband is from Bari, in the south of Italy. We have been married for 5 years. We’re coming both from Mediterranean countries so there are not so many differences but in these 5 years we managed to find some! The first thing I noticed is the Italian food is so different to Turkish food.

Let’s start with my first Italian family meal. It was in Bari, with my husband, his brothers, sisters, cousins, wives of brothers… Huge table! We ate seafood and when it arrived the whole family said ‘wow! look at this!’ The dish was octupus cooked in seawater. They said I should taste this very delicious food. I tasted and I couldn’t chew it, it was like rubber tasting of salt. All eyes were looking at me… ‘Do you like it?’ they asked. ‘Mmmm… it’s ok’, I said. I asked if anyone would like to finish and they jumped on it! In Bari fresh octupus is a delicacy.

The meal time is quite different in our countries. In Italy, Sunday lunch can last from 1:30 to 5pm. In Turkey it is from 1-2pm. In Italy they eat pasta, followed by meat or fish. We eat soup (in winter) and mezze to start. We eat pasta as main course and sometimes at the same time as the meat. And we make pasta into a salad with yoghurt. For my husband it was very strange to see me eating pasta with yoghurt! ‘what are you doing??’ he said. Now he also eats pasta with yoghurt (woman power…!)

The second difference is coffee. Italians are so quick to drink their espresso or macchiato. In Turkey it is a ritual to drink Turkish coffee and chat. We need at least 15 minutes. Everytime I drank coffee with Roberto I expected to sit and chat. But our coffee arrived and he drank it in one gulp. I am still disappointed but I got used to it (man power…!)

So on pasta I won. On coffee he won!

Lamia’s blog Bursa Daily Photo shows photos of her town Bursa, in Turkey

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