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Jennifer Hattam is an independent journalist based in Istanbul, where she relocated in early 2008. Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, she worked at Mother Jones and Sierra magazines, as well as various Internet companies, as a writer and editor before beginning her expat adventure in Turkey.

In addition to writing about arts and culture, the environment, food and drink, politics and society, travel, and urban issues, Jennifer also leads culinary tours of her adopted city’s colorful neighborhoods.

Her work has appeared in The Atlantic Cities, BBC Wildlife, California, IPS, Istanbul Eats, The National, Salon.com, Time Out Istanbul, Wired and Women’s eNews, among other print and online publications. Jennifer also writes about her personal experiences and observations in Turkey on her blog, The Turkish Life  at www.theturkishlife.com.

Armenian chef Grigori Karleni Antinyan, center, with culinary students at Kadir Has University in Istanbul. Credit: Copyright Courtesy of Food for Diplomacy

In Turkey, it's börek; in Israel, burekas, flaky layers of phyllo dough stuffed most commonly with cheese, spinach or minced meat. And the savory

Setting up snack plates in Helsinki. Credit: Heidi Uutela/Restaurant Day

Burgers grilled over an open flame in Moscow. A five-course meal cooked in a Williamsburg loft. Vietnamese spring rolls served in a Helsinki train

Olive oil and vegetables are among the building blocks of what is thought of as the heart-healthy Mediterranean diet. Credit: iStock

It's not what most people think of when they envision the famously light, healthy "Mediterranean diet." But hearty dishes like smoked game meats; the

Strings of dried peppers, eggplant, okra and other vegetables for sale in a market in Gaziantep, Turkey. Credit: Jennifer Hattam

Travel throughout southeastern Turkey in the height of summer and you're likely to see rooftops, courtyards and gardens blanketed with color -- row after

A fish market in Istanbul. Credit: Jennifer Hattam

Back in the 1950s, it wasn't unusual for fishermen plying the waters off Istanbul to land tuna weighing hundreds of pounds, or to have

Pyale Paşa Bostan, a market garden in Istanbul.

The purple skin of the Kavak fig is so thin that the fruit can be eaten whole, without peeling -- and so fragile that

The pop-up Gin & Tonics Garden at the Kew Royal Botanic Gardens in London. Credit: Jennifer Hattam

With the world's largest collection of living plants, and its scientists working around the globe to preserve biodiversity, the Kew Royal Botanic Gardens in

Hüseyin Aksoy makes akide at the Istanbul Culinary Arts Center. Credit: Jennifer Hattam

Inside a weathered storefront surrounded by hardware shops, colorful gems gleam in the dim light — large jars full of hard candies flavored with