Salı, Şubat 05, 2013

Turkish Beverages.

Turkish Coffee

Volumes have been written about at the Turkish coffee; its history, its significance in social life, and the ambiance of the ubiquitous coffee houses. Without some understanding of this background, its easy to be dissappointed by the tiny brew with the annoying grounds, which an uninitiated traveller (like Marh Twain) may accidentally end up chewing. A few words of caution will have to suffice for the purposes of this brief primer. First, the grounds are not to be swallowed, so sip the coffee gingerly. Secondly, don't expect a caffeinne surge with one shot of Turkish coffee; it is strong, just thick. Third, remember that is the setting and the company that matter - the coffee is just an excuse for the occasion.


Tea and Others

Tea, on the other hand, is the main source of caffeine for the Turks. It is prepared in a special way, by brewing it over boiling water and served in delicate, small, clear glasses to show the deep red color and to transmit the heat to the hand. Drinking tea is such an essential part of a working day, that any distruption of the constant supply of fresh tea is a sure way to sacrifice productivity. Once upon a time, so the story goes, a lion escaped from the Ankara Zoo and took up residence in the basement of an office building. It began devouring public servants and executives. It even ate up a few ministers of state and nobody took notice. It is said, however, that a posse was immediately formed when the lion caught and the ate the " tea man," the person responsible for the supply of fresh tea! A park without tea and coffee is inconceivable in Turkey. Thus, every spot with a view has a tea-house or a tea-garden. These places may be under a plain tree looking onto the village or town square, on top of a hill with majestic view of a valley sea, by a harbor, in a market, on a roadside with a scenic overview, by a waterfall or in the woods. Among the typical tea-gardens in Istanbul are: the Emirgan on the European side, Çamlıca on the Anatolian side of Boshoprus, the famous Pierre Loti cafe, and the tea-garden in Üsküdar. But the traditional tea-houses are beginning to disappear from the more tourist-oriented seaside locations, in fevour of "pubs" and "Biergartens". Among the beverages worth mentioning are excellent bottled fruit juices. But perhaps the most interesting drink is "boza", traditionally sold in neigborhood streets by wandering vendors on a winters night. This is a thick, fermentated drink made of wheat berries, to be enjoyed with a dash of cinnamon and a handful of roasted chick-peas. Boza can also be found year-round at the certain cafes or dessert shops. Finally, "sahlep" is a hot drink made with milk and sahlep powder. It is a good remedy for sore throads and colds, in addition to being delicious.


Wine on Turkish Lands .
Although research regarding the origins of wine have indicated that the first production of this drink was seen in Iran or the South Caucasia region, there is strong evidence suggesting that it was disseminated to the world through Anatolia.

There are many archaeological objects belonging to the Hittites such as statues, inscriptions, reliefs showing rituals related to wine in our museums and archeological sites. Therefore Archaeological evidence points to wine making having originated in the lands of Anatolia over 6000 years ago.
While previously, non-Muslims were dominant in the wine sector, the Turkish private sector started to take an interest in the production of wine after the foundation of the Republic of Turkey. In that period, initiatives related to the production of wine and modernized agricultural system were encouraged. As a result of these efforts, two large wine companies, which still continue their activities in this field, were established in 1926 and 1929. According to the records of Tobacco, Tobacco Products and Alcoholic Beverages Market Regulatory Authority, there are 98 firms operating in the Turkish wine sector today.

Turkey's indigenous varieties of grape include (from whites) Emir, Narince, Misket, (and from reds) Okuzgozu, Bogazkere, Kalecik Karasi and Papazkarasi as well as international varieties such as Merlot, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

Turkey is the 4th country in the world to have the largest vineyards and it is the 5th in terms of production amount of grapes. However, only 2% of the grapes produced in Turkey are allocated to wine production, while in France, Spain and Italy, this proportion is over 90%.These figures are evaluated along with Turkey's capacity for grape production, it can be seen that there is great potential for Turkey in terms of wine production in the following years.

Wine Regions

Marmara: Location:Marmara designates a region spread over southern Bulgaria (Northern Thrace), northeastern Greece (Western Thrace), and northwestern Turkey. Marmara has borders on three seas: the Black Sea, the Aegean Sea and the Sea of Marmara.
Climate:Typical mediterranean climate with hot summers and mild winters. It has maritime climaticconditions. Precipitation differs between 400 -1000 mm with an average of 550 mm per year. The longterm mean temperature differs between 12 to 16°C It’s quite humid (average 73%).
Soil type:Soil changes from lime to gravelly loam and to dense cracking clays depending on the sub region.
Wine Grape Production Share:The Marmara region accounts for 13.6% of all the wine produced in Turkey.
The grape varieties of the region are: Adakarası, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Cinsault, Gamay, Kalecik Karası, Merlot, Papazkarası, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillion, Shiraz (Syrah), Viognier.

Mid Eastern Anatolia:
Location:Mid-Eastern Anatolia is located in the east of Turkey. Tokat is at the northwest corner of this area which is close to the Black Sea. Elaz›¤ and Malatya are located nearer to the southeast of Turkey.
Climate:The dominant climate in Elaz›¤ and Malatya Provinces are the terrestrial climate and the winter seasons pass cold and precipitant while summer seasons pass hot and dry. However, due to the natural and artificial lakes around the city, some partial variations from the climate is experienced.
Tokat’s climate represents a transition between the Central Black Sea and the Inner Anatolia climates. The climate is somewhat harsher at high altitude levels and in the southern sections of the province.
Precipitation differs between 600 – 1000 mm with an average of 750 mm per year. The longterm mean temperature differs between 12 to 16°C.
Soil type:(Tokat) River bed and glaciated aluvial fan.
(Elazığ & Malatya) Red clay and decomposed granites varying to light chalky clay soils.
Wine Grape Production Share:The Mid-Eastern Anatolia region accounts for 14.7% of all the wine produced in Turkey.
The grage varieties of the region are:
Boğazkere, Narince, Öküzgözü.

Mid Northern Anatolia
Location:Mid Northern Anatolia consists of the two separate regions of Ankara and Uşak. Uşak is in the west of the region and Ankara is the more north-eastern part of the region. The Mid Northern region is the heart of Anatolia right in the centre of Turkey.
Climate:Hot dry summers and cold winters. It has a continental climatic character. This region, especially Ankara (the Kalecik subregion) with its more continental climate of harsh winters and hot summers, is home for varieties like Kalecik Karası.
Precipitation differs between 200 – 400 mm with an average of 300 mm per year. The longterm mean temperature differs between 8 to 12°C
Soil type:Pebbly clay loam
Wine Grape Production Share:The Mid-Northern Anatolia region accounts for 3.3% of all the wine produced in Turkey.
The grape varieties of the region are:
Boğazkere, Kalecik Karası, Öküzgözü, Shiraz (Syrah).

Mid-Southern Anatolia
Location:Mid-Southern Anatolia is surrounded by Kayseri, Kırşehir, Aksaray and Niğde.
Climate:Hot dry summers and cold winters. It has a continental climatic character. Cappadocia has a steppe climate, there is a great temperature difference between day and night. It is cooler and drier than in the popular tourist areas of the Mediterranean and the
Aegean coasts.Precipitation differs between 400-600 mm with an average of 500 mm per year. The longterm mean temperature differs between 8 to 12°C
Soil type:Sand, sandstone, decomposed volcanic, tuffa. Its poor volcanic soil is well suited to the cultivation of vines.
Wine Grape Production Share:The Mid-Southern Anatolia region accounts for 12.1% of all the wine produced in Turkey.
The grape varieties of the region are:Chardonnay, Dimrit, Emir, Kalecik Karası, Malbec, Narince, Öküzgözü, Sauvignon Blanc, Tempranillo.

Location:Mediterranean region is the south part of Turkey facing the Mediterranean Sea.
Climate:Typical mediterranean climate with hot summers and mild winters. It has a maritime climatic character. Precipitation differs between 400-600 mm with an average of 500 mm per year. The longterm mean temperature differs between 12 to 16°C.
Soil type:Differs from pebbly clay loam to calcareous chalks.
Wine Grape Production Share:The Mediterranean region accounts for 0.2% of all the wine produced in Turkey.
The grape varieties of the region are:Boğazkere, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Kalecik Karas›, Malbec, Merlot, Öküzgözü, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, Shiraz (Syrah).

Location:The Aegean region is the western part of Turkey facing the Aegean Sea and Greek Islands.
Climate:Typical mediterranean climate with hot summers and mild winters. It has a maritime climate in coastal parts (vineyards are at an altitude of 150 metres, and are closer to say Bari or Athens) and continental climatic conditions (in the Anatolian plateau, the vineyards are at a height of 900 metres, and the climate is closer to the Rhone Valley, though with less rainfall) in inland parts.
Precipitation differs between 400 – 1000 mm with an average of 550 mm per year. There are about 80 days with precipitation, mainly during winter. The longterm mean temperature differs between 16-20°C in coastal parts and 12 to 16°C in inland parts. At high altitudes temperatures can rise to 40°C during summer and fall to – 10°C in winter.
Soil type:Differs from clay loam in the lower elevations to calcarious chalks.
Wine Grape Production Share:The Aegean region accounts for 52.7% of all the wine produced in Turkey.
The grape varieties of the region are: Alicante Bouchet, Boğazkere, Bornova Misketi, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Carignan, Chardonnay, Çalkarası, Çavuş, Dimrit, Grenache, Kalecik Karası, Karalahna, Kuntra, Malbec,Merlot, Mourvedre, Narince, Öküzgözü, Petit Verdot, Pinot Noir, Sangiovese, Sauvignon Blanc, Shiraz (Syrah), Sultaniye, Tempranillo, Vasilaki, Viognier.


Sherbets Before the spread of fruit juices in our country, cold drinks called “sherbets” were very popular.
In the old days, a sherbet called Lohusa şerbeti was served, especially at births. (Loğusa < Gr.lehousa, a woman who has just given birth). The same sherbet was also served at engagements and the söz kesilme, the traditional “promise” between a man and a woman prior to their actual engagement. There were many different varieties of sherbet; some that appeared in the poetry of Mevlana include honey sherbet, rosewater sherbet, sugar sherbet,lütüf şerbeti, tanrı şerbeti, nardenk şerbeti.

Sirkencübin, made from honey and vinegar, was drunk both to quench thirst and medicnally.

Another sherbet that was once common was demirhindi (tamarind) but it is rare today.

Today the sherbet culture has been replaced by commercial fruit juices, but it still survives today in some Anatolian villages, where sherbets are made from various herbs, including liquorice root.


Boza is a popular thick, sweet-sour drink popular among the Turkic peoples. During Selçuk times it was known as bekni, and made of millet, wheat, corn, rice or barley. During that period it was left to mature in clay vases. Boza is a seasonal beverage, drunk in the winter, and in Turkey is made chiefly from millet. One of the favorite sounds on silent snowy winter nights is the cry of the bozacı as he walks the streets at night selling his boza.
Historical records show us that boza has been made in Central Asia and Eastern Anatolia since 400 B.C. It was drunk in ancient Greece and Rome as well. Today, in addition to Turkey, it is made in the Crimea, the Volga region, the Caucasus, Turkistan, the Balkans, Hungary, Egypt, Arabia and Iran. Ottoman records tell us that in the 16th century it was mostly made in Edirne, Bursa, Amasya and Mardin. Evliya Çelebi wrote that 17th century Istanbul was full of boza shops. Because of its nutritious and warming nature, boza was also much used in the army.


About Ayran

Ayran is one of the fundamental drinks of Turkish culture dating back to Central Asia. It is extermely health drink because:

1- It does not contain sugar .
2-Drinking salty ayran is one of the few rapid ways for your body to intake sodium (salt) during summer months one can dehydrates and looses salt which is extremely dangerous.

3-Health benefits of yogurt is undeniably obvious whether you eat it or drink it.
4-Nothing else takes down that spicy kebab dish better than a cold refreshing glass of Ayran.

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