Cuisine of Balkans
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Cuisine of Balkans

Balkan Cuisine

Nedim Atilla*

The Balkan wars that started on October 1912 and ended the next year, has caused the death of thousands of people and forced a large part of the population to leave their homes and towns and  emigrate to other lands.

The Ottomans who fought the countries under their rule has lost majority of the Balkan lands and were only able to retain the city of Edirne. The aftermath of the war resulted in 1.5 million people to emigrate from west to the east, namely Anatolia. This happened to be the largest migration known in the history of the world and caused immense suffering for all of the Ottoman Muslims who left the Balkans. These Muslims who were forced to migrate to Anatolia, brought with them their traditions, cultural heritage as well as their culinary traditions and habits.

This great migration resulted in the bith of the “Balkan Immigrant’s Cuisine” as well as causing a change in the deep rooted Anatolian cuisine. Bosnians; who are famous for their “böreks” (the phylo savoury pastries with a filling) and  “köfte” (ground beef patties), Macadonians who make the best desserts and pickles, Albanians who are known for their pan cooked dishes, liver and leek dishes, and flour (dough) based dishes have added a lot to the already rich Anatolian cuisine. Let’s not forget that once, the city of Pristina was known to be the center of the “Balkan Cuisine.

*The piece above is taken from Nedim Atilla’s article ”O Lezzetler hala burada” (Those tastes are still here). The full article can be viewed here in Turkish.

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