It's important to know the difference between these three soups, especially if you are the type of person who loves sheep's head but could take or leave tripe.
- Kelle Paca: (Kelleh Paja): Kelle Paca is a garlicky soup made of sheep's heads and feet, designed to be drunk with raki. Breed ordered up a big aluminum bowl of it today for lunch at my favorite tea garden and I had a sample. This stuff, I can live without. It made the back of my throat seize up a little. I noticed a black hair in it, but I didn't mention it to Breed. I didn't want to gross him out.
- Iskembe: (ish-kem-bey) Simple. This is tripe soup. Every culture seems to have something along these lines that serves as a hangover cure. Flaki serves the purpose in Poland, as does menudo in Latin America. And what luck! Today in Turkish Daily News, a list of Turkey's best Iskembecis. Some are one-stop shopping, too, for kokorec and other delicacies.
- Xas (Khash): Given what we know about the sophistication of Azeri cuisine, it should come as no surprise that Xas is a combination of Turkish Iskembe and Kelle Paca. It's got everything the sheep's got -- feet, tripe, head and probably other things it's best not to consider. You're supposed to drink a bottle of vodka alongside it, and it's good for healing broken bones. Samaya the Azeri cleaning/sleeping-on-the-couch lady was making a lot of it for the Producer at one time.
Carpetblogger: Trying things so you don't have to since 2003, but for the kokorec, you're on your own.