Salı, Şubat 05, 2013

Turkish Food Culture.

Food

Turkish cuisine is renowned as one of the world's best. It is considered to be one of the three main cuisines of the world because of the variety of its recipes, its use of natural ingredients, its flavours and tastes which appeal to all palates and its influence throughout Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Africa. The cuisine originated in central Asia, the first home of the Turks, and then evolved with the contributions of the inland and Mediterranean cultures with which Turks interacted after their arrival in Anatolia.

Turkish cuisine is in a sense a bridge between far-Eastern and Mediterranean cuisines, with the accent always on enhancing the natural taste and flavour of the ingredients. There is no one dominant element in Turkish cuisine, like sauces in French and pasta in Italian cuisines. While the Palace cuisine was developing in Istanbul, local cuisines in Anatolia were multiplying in several regions, all displaying different geographical and climactic characteristics. These cuisines, after remaining within regional borders for centuries, are now being transplanted to the big cities and their suburbs as a consequence of large scale urbanisation and migration towards new urban centres. As a result, the national Turkish cuisine has been enriched by the contribution of a great number of local recipes. Turkey is self-sufficient in food production and produces enough for export as well. This means that Turkish food is usually made from fresh, local ingredients and is all the tastier for it.


The Kitchen of The Imperial Palace


The importance of culinary art to the Ottoman Sultans is evident to every visitor to Topkapı Palace. The huge kitchens were housed in several buildings under ten domes. By the 17th century some thirteen hundred kitchen staff were housed in the Palace. Hundreds of cooks, specializing in different categories, such as soups, pilafs, kebabs, vegetables, fish, breads, pastries, candy and helva, syrups and jams, and beverages, fed as many as ten thousand people a day, and in addition, sent trays of food to others in the city as a royal favor. The importance of food has also been evident in the structure of the Ottoman military elite, known as the Janissaries. The commanders of the main divisions were known as the Soupmen, other high ranking officers included the Chief Cook, the Sclullion, the Baker, and the Pancake Maker, though their duties had little to do with food. The huge cauldron used to make pilaf had a special symbolic significance for the Janissaries, and was the focal point of each division. The kitchen was at the same time the center of politics, for whenever the Janissaries demanded a change in the Sultan's Cabinet, or the head of a grand vizier, they would overturn their pilaf cauldron. "Overturning the cauldron," is an expression still used today to indicate a rebellion in the ranks. It was in this environment that hundreds of Sultan's chefs, who dedicated their lives to their profession, developed and perfected the dishes of the Turkish cusine, which was then adopted in from the Balkans to sautern Russia, and reaching as far as North Africa. Istanbul was then the capital of the world and had all the prestige, so its ways were imitiated. At the same time, it was supported by an enormous organization and infrastructure which enabled all the treasures of the world to flow into it.

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A Repertoire of Food From The Great Food Places


A survey of the types of dishes according to their ingredients may be helpful to explain the basic structure of Turkish cuisine. Otherwise there may appear to be an overwhelming variety of dishes, each with a unique combination of ingredients and its own way of preparation and presentation. All dishes can be conveniently categorized: grain-bazed, grilled meats, vegetables, seafood, desserts and beverages. Before describing each of these categories, some general comments are necessary. The foundation of the cuisine is based on grains (rice and wheat) and vegetables. Each category of dishes contains only one or two types of main ingredients.
Turks are purists in their culinary taste, that is, the dishes are supposed to bring out the flavour of the main ingredient rather than hiding it under sauces or spices. Thus, the eggplant should taste like eggplant, lamb like lamb, pumpkin like pumpkin, and so on. Contrary to the prevalent Western impression of Turkish food, spices and herbs are used very simply and sparingly. For example, either mint or dill weed are used with zucchini, parsley is used with eggplant, a few cloves of garlic has its place in some cold vegetable dishes, and cumin is sprinkled over red lentil soup or mixed in ground meat making "köfte" (meat balls). Lemon and yoghurt are used to complement both meat and vegetable dishes as well as to balance the taste of olive oil or meat. Most desserts and fruit dishes do not call for any spices. So their flavors are refined and subtle. There are major classes of meatless dishes. When meat is used, it is used sparingly. Even with the meat kebabs, the "pide" or the flat bread is the largest part of the dish alongside vegetables or yoghurt.

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Grains : Bread to Borek


The foundation of Turkish food is, if anything, dough made of wheat flour. Besides "ekmek" (ordinary white bread), "Pide" (flat bread), "simit" (sesame seed rings),and "mantı" (similar to ravioli), a whole fami,ly of food made up thin sheets of pastry called "börek" falls into this category. The bakers of the Ottoman period believed that after his expulsion from the Garden of Eden, Adam, the Patron Saint of Bakers, learned how to make bread from the Archangel Gabriel. Obviously, the secret is still held dear by present-day Turkish bekers. No other bread tastes like everyday Turkish bread. One realizes the wonderful luxery of Turkish bread only upon leaving the county. This glorious food is enjoyed in large quantities and is loved by all, rich and poor, simpleand sophisticated. Every neighborhood has a bread bakery that produces the golden, crisp loaves twice a day, morning and afternoon, filling the streets with their irresistible and wholesome aroma. People pick up a few loaves on their way home from work, and end up eating the crisp ends by the time they get there. After a hard day's work, holding the warm loaf is the best reward, convincing one that all is well. Ekmek, pide and simit are meant to be eaten the same day they are baked, as they usually are. The leftover ekmek goes into a variety of dishes, becomes chicken feed, or is mixed with milk for the neighborhood cats. Manti, small dumplings of dough filled with a special meat mix, are eatenwith generous servings of garlic yogurt and a dash of melted butter with paprika.

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Food Protocol for The Culturally Correct


Eating is taken very seriously in Turkey. It is inconceivable for household members to eat alone, raid the refrigerator, or eat on the "go", while others are at home. It is customary to have three "sit down meals" a day. Breakfast or "kahvaltı" (literatery, 'under the coffee'), typically consist of bread, feta cheese, black olives and tea. Many work places have lunch served as a contractual fringe benefit.

Dinner starts when all the family members get together and share the events of the day at the table. The menu consists of three or more types of dishes that are eaten seqentially, accompanied by salad. In summer, dinner is served at about at eight. Close relatives, best friends or neighbors may join in on meals on a "walk-in" basis. Others are invited ahead of time as elabrote preparations are expected. The menu depends on whether alcoholic drinks will bw served or not. In the former case, the guests will find the meze spread ready on the table, frequently set up either in the garden or on the balcony. The main course is served several hours later. Otherwise, the dinner starts with a soup, followed by the main meat and vegetable course, accompanied by the salad. Then the olive-oil dishes such as the dolmas are served, followed by dessert and fruit. While the table is cleared, the guests retire to the living room to have tea and turkish coffee. Women get together for afternoon tea at regular intervals (referred to as the "7-17 days") with their school-friends and neighbours.These are very elaborate occasions with at least a dozen types of cakes, pastries, finger foods and böreks prepared by the hostess. The main social purpose of these gatherings is to gossip and share experiences about all aspects of life, public and private. Naturally, one very important function is the propagation of recipes. Diligent exchanges occur while women consult each other on their innovations and solutions to culinary challenges. By now it should be clear that the concept of having a "pot luck" at someone's house is entirely foreign to the Turks. The responsibility of supplying all the food squarely rests on the host who expects to be treated in the same way in return. There are two occasions where the notion of "host" does not apply. One such situation is when neighbors collaborate in making large quantities of food for the winter such as "tarhana" - dried yogurt and tomato soup, or noodles. Another is when families get together to go on a day's excursion into the countryside. Arrangements are made ahead of time as to who will make the köfte, dolma, salads, pilafs and who will supply the meat, the beverages and the fruits. The "mangal", the copper charcoal burner, kilims, hammocks, pillows, musicial instruments such as saz, ud, or violin, and samovars are also loaded up for a day trip. A 'picnic' would be a pale comparison to these occasions, often referred to as "stealing a day from fate." Kucuksu, Kalamis, and Heybeli in old Istanbul used to be typical locations for such outings, as numerous songs tell us. Other memorable locations include the Maram vineyards in Konya, Lake Hazar in Elazig, and Bozcaada off the shores of Canakkale. Commemorating two Saints: Hizir and Ilyas (representing immortality and abundance), the May 5 Spring Festival (Hıdırellez) would mark the beginnig of the pleasure-season (safa), with lots of poetry, songs and, naturally, good food. A similar "safa" used to be trhe weekly trip to the Turkish Bath. Food prepared the day before, woyld be packed on horse-drawn carriages along with fresh clothing and scented soaps. After spending the morning at the marble wash-basins and the stream hall, people would retire to the wooden settees to rest, eat and dry off before returning home. nowadays such leisurely affairs are all but gone, spoiled by modern life. Yet, families still attempt to steal at least one day from fate every year, even throug fate often triumphs. Packing food for trips is so traditional that even now, it is common for mothers to pack some köfte, dolma and börek to go on an airplane, especially on long trips, much to the bemusement of other passengers and the irritation of flight attendants. But seriously, given the quality of airline food, who can blame them? Weddings, circumcision cerempnies, and holidays are celebrated with feasts. At a wedding feast in Konya, a seven-course meal is served to the guests. The "sit down meal" starts with a soup, folowed by pilaf and roast meat, meat dolma, and saffron rice - a traditional wedding dessert.Börek is served before the second dessert, which is typically the semolina helva. The meal ends with okra cooked with tomatoes, onions, and butter with lots of lemon juice. This wedding feast is typical of Anatolia, with slight regional variations. The morning after the wedding the groom's family sends trays of baklava to the bride's family. During the holidays, people are expected to pay short visits to each and every friend within the city, visits which are immediately reciprocated. Three or four days are spent going from house to house, so enough food needs to be prepared and put aside to last the duration of the visits.

During the holidays, kitchens and pantries burst at the seams with böreks, rice dolmas, puddings and desserts that can be put on the table without much preparation. Deaths are also occasions for cooking and sharing food. In this case, neighbors prepare and send dishes to the bereaved household for three days after the death. The only dish prepared by the household of the deceased is the helva which is sent to the neighbors and served to visitors. In some areas, it is a custom for a good friend of the deceased to begin prepairing the helva, while recounting fond memories and events. Then the spoon would be passed to the next person who would take up stirring the helva and continue reminiscing. Usually the helva is done by the time everyone in the room has had a chance to speak. This wonderfully simple ceremony makes the people left behind talk about happier times and lightens their grief momentarily, strengthening the bond between them.


Contemporary Concerns Diet and Health:


As modernity takes hold, traditions are falling to one side. Spirituality as a guide for conduct in everyday life is something of the past; now we turn to Science for answers. Ironically, as fast food and pizza making come-back. What our grandmothers knew all the time is now being confirmed by modern science: diet which is fundamentally based on grains, vegetables and fruits with meat and dairy products used sparingly and as flavoring, is a healthy one. Furthermore, some combinations are better than others, because they complement each other for balanced nutrition. Turkish cuisine sets an example in these respects. The recent "food-pyramid" endorsed by the United States Department of Agriculture resembles age-old practices in ordinary households. Even the well-known menus of boarding schools or army kitchens, hardly known for their gourmet charecteristics, provide excellent nutrition that can be justified by the best of today's scientific knowledge. One such combination, jokinggly referred to as "our national food," is beans and pilaf, accompanied by pickles and quince compote - a perfectly nousrishing combination which provides the essential proteins, carbohydrates and minerals. Another curious practice is combining spinach with yogurt. Now we know that the body needs calcium found in the yogurt to assimilate the iron found in the spinach.
Yogurt, a contribution of the Turks to the world, has also become a popular health food. A staple in the Turkish diet, it has been known all along for its detoxifying properties. Other such beliefs, not yet supported by modern science, include the role of the onion, used liberally in all dishes, in strengthening the immune system along with garlic for high blood pressure and olive oil as a remedy for forty-one ailments. The complicated debate concerning mono-and polyunsaturated fats and the good and bad cholestorol is ridiculously inadequate to evaluate olive oil. Given what we know about health food today, one could even envy the typical lunch fare of the proverbial construction worker who eats bread, feta cheese and fresh grapes in the summer and bread and tahini helva in the winter. The variety of pastry turn-overs with cheese or graund meat, meat pide, or kebabs are fast food for millions of working people. These are all prepared entirely on the premises using age-old practices. One of the main culprits in the modern-day diet is the snack, that horrible junk food designed to give a quick sugar high to keep one going for the rest of the day. Again, modern science has come to the rescue, and healthy snacks are now being discovered. Some of these are amazingly familiar to the Turks! Take, for example, the "fruit roll-ups". Visit any dried-food store that sells nuts and fruits, and you will see the authentic version, such as sheets of mashed and dried apricots and grapes. In these stores, there are many other items that await yhe discovery of some pioneering entrerpreneur from Western markets. Another wholesome snack, known as "trail mix" or "gorp," is well-known to all Turkish mothers, who traditionally stuff a handful of mixed nuts and raisins in the pockets of their children's school uniform to snack on before exams. This practice can be traced to ancient fables, where the hero goes on a diet of hazelnuts and raisins before fighting with the giants and dragons, or before weaving the king a golden smock. The prince always loads onto the mythological bird, the "Zümrüt Anka", forty sacks of nuts and raisins for himself, and water and meat for the bird that takes him over the high Caucasus Mountains. As far as food goes, it is reassuring to know that we are re-discovering what is good for our bodies. Nevertheless, one is left with the nagging feeling that such knowledge will always be incomplete as long as it is divorced from its cultural context and metaphysical traditions. The challenge facing modern Turkey is to achieve such continunity in a time of generic engeneering, hightech mass production and growing number of convenience-oriented households. But for now, the markets are vibrant and the dishes are tastier than ever, so enjoy!

Kebabs


Kebab is another category of food which, like the börek, is typically Turkish dating back to the time when the nomadic Turks learned to grill and roast meat over camp fires. Given the numerous types of kebabs, it helps to realize that they are categorized by the way the meat is cooked. The Western world knows the "Shis kebab" and the "döner" introduced to them mostly by Greek entrepreneurs, who have a good nose for what will sell! Shis kebab is grilled cubes of skewered meat.
Döner kebab is made by stacking alternating layers of ground meat and sliced leg of lamb on a large upright skewer, which is slowly rotated im front of a vertical grill. As the outer layer of the meat is roasted, thin slices are shaved off and served.




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Vegetables


Along with grains, vegetables are also consumed in large quantities in the Turkish diet. The simplest and most basic type of vegetable dish is prepared by slicing a main vegetable such as zucchini or eggplant, combinig it with tomatoes, green peppers and onions, and cooking it slowly in butter and its own juices. Since the vegetables that are cultivated in olive oil. These dishes would be third in a five-course meal, following the soup and a main course such as rice or börek and a vegetable or meat, and before dessert and fruit. Practically all vegetables, such as fresh string beans, artichokes, celery root, eggplants, pinto beans, or zucchini can be cooked in olive oil, and are typically eaten with a tomato or a yogurt sauce.
"Dolma" is the generic term for stuffed vegetables, being a derivate of the verb "doldurmak" (to fill). There are two categories of dolmas: those filled with a meat mix and those with a rice mix. The latter are cooked in olive oil and eaten at room-temperature. The meat dolma is a main-course dish eaten with a yogurt sauce, and a very frequent one in the average household. Any vegetable which can be filled with or wrapped around these mixes can be used as a dolma, including zucchini, eggplant, tomatoes, cabbage, and grape leaves. However, the green pepper dolma with the rice stuffing, has to be queen of dolmas. A royal feast to the eye and the palate... In addition to these general categories, there are numerous meat and vegetable dishes which feature unique recipes. When talking vegetables, it is important to know that the eggplant (or aubergine) has a special place in Turkish cuisine. This handsome vegetable with its brown-green cap, velvety purple skin, firm and slim body, has a richer flavor than that of its relatives found elsewhere. At a party, a frustrating question to ask a Turk would be "How do you usually cook your eggplant?" A proper answer to this question would require hours!Here, too, it will have to suffice to mention just two aggplant dishes that are a must to taste. In one, the eggplant is split lenngthwise and filled with a meat mix. This is a common summer dish, eaten with white rice pilaf. The other one is "Her Majestry's Favourite," a delicate formal dish that is not easy to make but well worth trying. The name refers to Empess Eugenie, the wife of Napoleon III, who fell in love with it on her visit to Sultan Abdulaziz. To taste these dishes, look for a "Lokanta," a word borrowed from the Italian "Locanda," describing the type of establishment where traditional cooking is prepared, usually for those who work nearby. The best examples are the Borsa, Hacı Salih, and Konyalı in Istanbul and Liman and Ciftlik in Ankara. The tables are covered with white linen, and the menu comprises soups, traditional main dishes and desserts, including fresh fruit. Businessmen and politicians frequently visit these places for lunch.

Meze:The Dishes Accompany to Spirits


In Turkey, despite the Islamic prohibition against wine and anything alcolic, there is a rich tradition associated with liquor. Drinking alcoholic beverages in the company of family and friends, both at home as well as in taverns and restaurant, is part of special occasions. Similiar to the spanish tapas, "meze" is the general category of dishes that are brought in small quantities to start the meal off. These are eaten, along with wine or more likely with "rakı", the anise-flavoured national drink of Turks sometimes referred to as "lion's milk", until the main course is served.The bare minimum meze for rakı are slices of honeydew melon and creamy feta cheese with freshly baked bread. Beyond this, a typical meze menu includes dried and marinated mackerel, fresh salad greens in thick yogurt sauce and garlic, plates of cold vegetable dishes cooked or fried in olive oil, fried crispy savoury pastry, deep-fried mussels and calamari served in a sauce, tomato and cucumber salad, and fish eggs in a sauce. The main course that follows such a meze spread will be fish or grilled meat. When the main course is kebab, then the meze spread is different. In this case, several plates of different types of minced salad greens and tomatoes in spicy olive oil, mixed with yogurt or cheese, "humus" (chick peas mashed in tahini), bulgur and red lentil balls, "raw köfte", marinated stuffed eggplant, peppers with spices and nuts, and pickles are likely to be served.

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Seafoods of Turkey


Four seas (The Black Sea, the Sea of Marmara, the Aegean, and the Mediterranean) surround the Turkish landscape. Residents of the coastal cities are experts in preparing fish. However, the best of the day's catch is immediately transported to Ankara, where some of the finest fish restaurants are located. Winter is the premium season for eating fish. That is the time when many species of fish migrate from the Black Sea to warmer waters and when most of fish reach their mature size. So, the lack of summer vegetable is compensated by the abundance of fish at this time. Every month has its own preferred catch, along with certain vegetables which complement the taste. For example, the best bonito is eaten with arugula and red onions, blue fish with lettuce, and turbot with cos lettuce. Large bonito may be poached with celery root. Mackerel is stuffed with chopped onion before grilling, and summer fish, which are younger and drier, will be poached with tomatoes and green peppers, or fried. Bay leaves always accompany both poached and grilled fish. Grilling fish over charcoral, where the fish juices hit the embers and envelope the fish with the smoke, is perhaps the most delicious way of eating mature fish, since this method brings out the delicate flavor. This is also why the grilled fish sold by vendors right on their boats is so tasty. "Hamsi" is the prince of all fish known to Turks: the Black Sea people know forty-one ways of making hamsi including hamsi börek, hamsi pilaf and hamsi dessert! Another common seafood is the mussel, eaten deep-fried, poached, or as a mussel dolma and mussel pilaf. Along the Aegean, octopus and calamari are added to the meze spread. The places to taste fish are fish restaurants and taverns. Not all taverns are fish restaurants, but most fish restaurants are taverns and these are usually found on the harbors overlooking the sea. The Bosphorus is famous for its fisherman's taverns, large and small, from Rumeli Kavağı to Kumkapı. The modest ones are small with wooden tables and rickety wooden chairs, nevertheless they offer delicious grilled fish. Then there are the elaborate, fashionable ones in Tarabya and Bebek. Fish restaurants always have an open-air section right by the sea. The waiters run back and forth between the kithchen, perhaps located in the restaurant across the street, and the tables on the seaside. After being seated, it is customary to visit the kitchen or the display to pick your fish and discuss the way you want it to be prepared. The price of the fish is also disclosed at this time. Then you swing by the meze display and order the ones you want. So the evening begins, sipping rakı in between samplings of meze, watching the sunset, and slowly setting the pace for convensation that what will continue for hours into the night. Drinking is never a hurried, loud, boisterous, or lonely affair. It is a communal, gently festive and cultured way of entertainment. In these fish restaurants, a couple of families may spend an evening with their children running around the restaurant after they are fed, while the teenagers sit at the table patiently listening to the conversation and occasionally participating, when the topic is soccer or rock music.
 
 
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Herbs and Spices in Turkish Cuisine




Herbs and Spices
Herbs and spices have been used by mankind since ancient times for a variety of purposes. Sometimes a wild flower, the bark of a great tree or the fruit of a bush, spices show infinite variety in their form, characteristics and function.
It is generally believe that spices were first used in the Far East. The spread of spices used since antiquity in China and India to all corners of the globe began nearly 2000 years ago. At the same time spices have historically been used in other parts of the world as well; one of the oldest of these areas is Anatolia, where spices began to be brought from various regions of Africa as flavor enhancers. Today spices are used most heavily by the inhabitants of South Asia. Of course the use of spices is also quite common in Europe and America; herbs and spices are very important in the cuisines of Italy, Spain, Portugal and France. Turkey is also one of the countries with the heaviest use of spices; they have an especially vital role in the cooking of the Southeast.
Here we will mention the spices used traditionally in Turkish cuisine, as well as those which have entered our food culture in more recent times:

Allspice
Yenibahar

Grown chiefly in Jamaica as well as Mexico and Malaysia, allspice is the dried ripe fruit of the plant Pimento officinalis. It is useful medicinally as an appetite enhancer, and also relieves gas and constipation. In the kitchen, it is used in meat dishes, köfte, and sausages as well as various dolma and sweets.
Anise
Anason

Originating in Egypt, anise is the seed of a fragrant, low-growing member of the celery family (Apiaceae). It is used in baking, the making of rakı, and to help put children to sleep.
Arugula, Rocket
Roka
An herb with leaves resembling those of the radish plant. It is made into salad, and also eaten along with fried or grilled fish. It is frequently used as a garnish as well.

Basil
Frenk Fesleğeni

A tropical plant in the mint family (Lamiaceae) recommended in eggplant and pepper dishes.
Bay Leaf
Defne

The leaves of the Bay Laurel tree, bay leaves are used in various fish, meat, poultry and game dishes, in kebab, and in certain pickles and preserved foods.
Black Pepper
Karabiber

The dried black fruits of black pepper give a fragrance and heat to foods. It may be used in almost any dish, and is one of the most basic ingredients in Turkish cooking.

Cardamom
Kakule

The small, white pod of a tropical plant in the ginger family. It enhances the appetite and relieves stomach upsets.
Cinnamon
Tarçın

A spice obtained from the aromatic bark of a tree native to South and Southeast Asia. It is used both whole and ground, in pastries, cakes and cookies as well as sprinkled on drinks such as boza and salep.
Cloves
Karanfil

The dark colored dried flower buds of this plant are ground to powder, crushed or used whole to add flavor to compotes, syrups, cakes, ice creams and certain stews.
Cress
Tere

The leaves of this plant of the mustard family (Brassicaceae) are mostly used in salads. It has a unique taste, slightly bitter, and is also used as a garnish.
Cumin
Kimyon

Usually used powdered, it is mostly cultivated in Anatolia. In Turkish cuisine it is mostly used in meat dishes, köfte and in the making of sucuk. It eliminates the smell of uncooked meat.
Coriander / Cilantro
Kişniş

In Turkey, coriander is mostly used in syrups and liqueurs, as well as certain meat dishes. Candied coriander seeds are sometimes used in pastries. The leaves and shoots of the plant are chopped and added to soups and salads in some regions.
Curly Parsley
Frenk Maydonozu

A curly-leaved variety of the local (Italian) parsley, it has a lighter aroma.
Currants
Kuşüzümü

Used in pilaf, dolma fillings and certain sweets.
Curry Powder
Köri

A spice blend consisting of cumin, pepper, turmeric, cloves, cardamom, ginger, nutmeg, tamarind and hot red pepper.
Dereotu
A much-used member of the celery family (Apiaceae), dill aids digestion. It is used in many salads and “olive oil” dishes.
Fasulye Otu
An herb which adds flavor especially to beans and other legumes.
Fennel
Rezene

An herb with an aroma similar to anise, with leaves resembling those of dill. One variety has a bulb-like swelling at the leaf bases, which is used in cooked dishes and salads.
Fenugreek
Çemen Otu

The hard, brownish-yellow seed of a plant in the pea family, fenugreek is used ground in pickles, soups and meat dishes.

Ginger
Zencefil

The ginger plant has cane-like stems to one meter in height, with oblong pointed leaves and a pungent odor. Its flowers are yellow and born in a single head. The part utilized is the underground rhizome. In Turkey it is used chiefly in its dry form though fresh ginger is now becoming available. It is mostly used in syrups, as a garnish for drinks and in the making of liqueurs.
Juniper
Ardıç
Juniper is an evergreen tree bearing fragrant, blackish round berries. These are used in poultry dishes and in marinades for meat.
Köfte Spice (Meatball Spice)
Köftebaharı
This is a spice mix composed of coriander, black pepper, cloves, bay leaves and wild thyme. It is mostly used in köfte, grilled meatballs.
Marjoram
Mercanköşk
A very similar plant to wild thyme, marjoram is used in salads as well as meat and vegetable dishes. It is generally added toward the end of cooking. As it is an aid to digestion, it is especially used in difficult to digest dishes such as wild game.


Mint
Nane

A very much used herb in foods ranging from soups to vegetable dishes. It is added to lamb and mutton, and is also generally used in salads.


Musk Plant / Mimulus moschatus
Miskotu

A species of monkeyflower, this herb is used in oily dishes such as goose, duck and eel, and in stews. It is especially used in the making of certain wines such as vermouth.

Nigella
Çörek Otu
Somtimes referred to as “black sesame” or “onion seed” in the west, it is actually the seed of a plant related to the common garden flower “Love-in-a-mist.” It is sprinkled on çöreks, breads and certain salty cookies and crackers. It may also be used in salads.


Nutmeg
Cevz-i Bevva, Muscat Cevizi, Hint Cevizi

The fruit of a tropical tree, it is ground to powder and used with meat dishes as well and dolma and sarma, and in bechamel sauce and cheese dishes. Because of its bitter taste it is only used in small quantities. It also relieves intestinal distress in children.
Parsley
Maydonoz
Used ın all sorts of salads and foods. As there is an ethereal oil in parsley root, these roots are also sometimes used in certain sauces and broths.


Pine Nuts
Çam Fıstığı, Dolma Fıstığı, Dolmalık Fıstık

These small nuts are extracted from the cones of a species of pine, and used in dolma and aşure.


Poppy Seeds
Haşhaş Tohumu

The seed of the opium poppy plant, it may be blue-black or white. It is used in baking as well as sautéed in oil and added to salads, canapés and appetizers.

Red Flake Pepper
Pul Biber

Obtained by grinding hot red peppers. The Antep and Maraş varieties are especially prized, and are available in oiled and unoiled form. Also available in powdered form.

Rosemary
Biberiye
The narrow, thick needlelike leaves of this bush are used in meat dishes and sauces. In its fresh form, it is also used in the treatment of intestinal and kidney diseases as well as bronchitis and other ailments.

Sage
Adaçayı
A member of the mint family (Lamiaceae), sage is used in the Aegean and Marmara regions to make tea.
Saffron
Safran
Saffron imparts an intense yellow color to foods to which it is added. It has a sharp, slightly bitter flavor. It is used in some soup and seafood soups, in pilafs and in desserts made with milk and rice. It does not dissolve in olive oil. Saffron is also used in a dessert called zerde. It grows in Western Asia and in Northern Anatolia.


Salep / Sahlep
Salep/sahlep is the name give to the tubers of orchids in the genera Orchis and Ophyris. The starchy underground tubers grow in pairs; one is the main tuber which gives rise to the current year’s growth. The other, known as the “nurse” (hemşire) or “brother” (kardeş) tuber, will produce next year’s tuber. The salep plants perfer alkaline/lime soils. The roots of those which grow in forested regions are larger, while those in fields are smaller in size. The tubers are cream-colored, and either egg-shaped or forked. The gathered roots are washed in water, then tied to a rope and boiled in either water or milk, then dried in the open air. The dried tubers are beaten into a powder, which is now ready for use. Salep grows chiefly in the Turkey’s western regions.


Sesame
Susam

The oil-bearing seed of a meter-tall plant, which is grown chiefly in India, China and Sudan but also in SE Anatolia. The seed is used in simit and other baked goods, and ground to make tahini.


Sumac
Sumak

This spice is made from the ground berries of a small tree which grows in Southeast Anatolia. It has a sour flavor and is used as a souring agent in kebabs and some salads. A syrup made by boiling the berries is also used in salads.
Tarragon
Tarhun

An herb with a round stem, green on the upper portions and brown near the ground, with long thin and shiny green leaves. Its aromatic leaves are used in certain sauces and meat dishes as well as eggs and salads.


Turmeric
Zerdeçal

Turmeric is a tropical plant in the ginger family (Zingiberaceae) with narrow pointed leaves and yellow flowers. Its dried and ground root is used in meat, fish and egg dishes. It imparts a strong yellow color and is sometimes used in place of saffron.
Vanilla
Vanilya
Originating in Mexico, this spice is extracted from the seed pod of a vining orchid. It is used to add flavor to pastries and confections, cakes, ice cream, compotes and milk puddings.

White Pepper
Beyaz Toz Biber

This is ground, hulled black pepper. It has a more pungent aroma and lighter flavor than black pepper.


Wild Thyme
Kekik

Also known as “Greek oregano,” this herb grows throughout Anatolia, mostly in mountainous regions. It is dried and used in meat dishes, grilled meats, vegetables and fish. It is especially used in soups.

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bir araştırma yazım için ilham ararken sayfanızı buldum ve okumaktan kendımı alamadım.gercekten cok degerlı bılgılerı toparlamıssınız. sızı tebrık etmek ıstedım.basarılar dılerım..
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