Turkish Cuisine
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Culinary Art in Ürünlü Village, Turkey

Dayar states that ex-Ürünlü peasants who became urbanites, kept their ties with their village, houses and gardens. In 2007 summer, 230 households hosted around 1500 people. Among them some retirees had come back from Antalya, Bursa and İstanbul to resettle also and were followed by a few urbanites fleeing citiesvii. It is exactly those summer visits and gradual come backs that kept organic food production and local culinary art still alive where men also cook. Traditionally villagers were herders of mainly goats, lesser sheep, cattle and cultivators. They led a life residing at Ürünlü in fall and winter and on local pastures in spring and summer.  Hill sides  were  terraced  and  wheat,  barley,  vetch  as fodder, chickpeas,  millet, potatoes were grown as main cereals while vegetables and fruits were grown in gardens by vineyards. Herbs and edible plants were collected as additional ingredients to give flavor to various  dishes.  Beans,  aubergine,  potato, rosemary,  squash,  okra,  spinach,  parsley,  pink (local) tomato, onion, garlic, fava bean, mint, dill are vegetables still grown in kitchen gardens of stone mansions. In addition there are cherry, fig, mulberry, peach, apple, plum, hazel nuts, walnuts, almonds, olives and wild myrtle trees. Dishes made from these ingredients are fresh and seasonal while those processed are consumed all year round.  

Culinary Art, Health and Wellbeing: Ürünlü means “crop rich” denoting that fertile land blessed it inhabitants and their neighbors with plenty of food. Main ingredients of food at Ürünlü are goat meat and milk, certain cereals, vegetables and fruits according to Ergenekon 2010). Ürünlü meals can be grouped as breakfast, soups, pastry; vegetable and meat dishes, salads, desserts and drinks. In Ürünlü not only women but also men are capable of preparing and cooking food. Morning meal, noon meal, afternoon breakfast, dinner and supper indicate meal times. Traditional breakfast is eaten right after the morning prayers. It consists of hot goat milk with bread crumbs, molasses (pekmez) drink or soup consumed with filo pastry (yufka). Yufka rolls with cheese fillings and local pink tomatoes and cucumbers the summers. Filo pastry or bread is eaten nowadays accompanied with eggs, çökelek (skim-mik or yoghurt curd) cheese, herbal cheese (otlu peynir), black or green olives, fried peppers, jam or honey, butter or cream. Tea with/ without sugar and/or lemon is drunk in small Turkish tea glasses all year round. Soup ingredients are water gravy, yogurt, grains, vegetables, meat/chicken and pastry. Salt, black or red pepper, certain herbs are used as spices. Main soups recorded in the village are Ayran soup (diluted yoghurt), Pasture soup (Yayla Çorbası), Flour soup (Oğmaç), Milky Bulgur Soup (cracked wheat), Summer/Pumpkin Blossom soup, Vegetable soup, Tripe-lung soup, Skull soup and Chicken soup. Sour Tarhana Soup consists of ½ kg of diluted tarhana lobe, made from fermentation of flour, yoghurt, cracked wheat, dried beans, chickpeas, sugar beet, some dry hot and sweet red pepper, onions, garlic, salt then dried. Tarhana lobes are cooked some  more  stock/vegetable  juice when needed  and  served  hot.  Salads  are  made  from tomatoes, onions, cucumbers,  peppers/paprika, carrots, turnips, parsley, and other herbs such as dill, mint and arugula. They either are served sliced and eaten as “söğüş” (uncooked) plain with lemon, or pomegranate juice, vinegar and olive oil. Yoghurt, garlic, salt, black or chili peppers are added to give taste. Shepherd’s (tomato-onion mix) and Tomato-cucumber, Vine sprout salads and Cacık (diluted yoghurt, cucumber bits and dill) are most appreciated in summer. Potato salad made by mixing with it sliced onions, parsley, egg and black olives; roasted aubergine salad seasoned with lemon and oil or yogurt topped spinach or parsley salads are other varieties. Main ingredients of pilafs are rice, bulgur and Turkish noodles (erişte). Pilafs are considered staple dishes. Sometimes vegetable, dried fruit or meat fillings also are added into them. İç pilav has a filling of browned liver cubes, pine nuts, currants, black pepper, some mint and butter. This pilaf is consumed at festive occasions as Meyhane pilavı. In other words taverna pilaf is made of bulgur, meat cubes or minced meat of kid, onions, tomatoes, salt, long green peppers and cooked in broth.

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