Turkish Cuisine
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Culinary Art in Ürünlü Village, Turkey

Vegetable dishes are made from okra, beans, peppers, aubergines, patience dock, mallow, pumpkin blossoms, corn poppy (gelincik), edible mushrooms, squash, peppers and aubergines; kidney beans, lentils, potatoes, carrots, green peas, chick peas and onions. Some are cooked, stewed or stuffed with minced meat, rice and bulgur before eating. An example to a stuffed dish is patience-dock roll (Labada sarması). This plant is found fresh on summer pastures and consumed cooked as a roll with either rice or bulgur filling.. Pumpkin blossoms are stuffed with rice and cooked in olive oil, served cold This dish is considered a delicatessen on Mediterranean and Aegean coasts. An interesting recipe is Squash Shake (Kabak silkmesi). One kg. of squash cut into cubes are kept in half a tablespoonful of salt until squash releases its juice. Then it is cooked in this juice by adding a tea-glass of sugar and a handful of pre-cooked rice over mild heat. It then tastes like a desert “dish” when eaten in summer.  A winter dish served hot is “Türlü”, meaning hodgepodge. It includes dried green beans and aubergine and fresh potatoes, leek, celery, onions, garlic, tomato paste (processed in summer), salt, and pepper. It may be served plain or with meat cubes. Wheat flour is a staple ingredient and is used in making bread, noodles, pastry and deserts. Flat pastry with cheese, potato or herbal filling (içli ekmek/gözleme) is popular all year round. Corn pie (mısır kömbesi) is a tasty pastry with cheese filling baked. Meat sources are mainly goats, sheep to a lesser degree then fish and fowl. All edible parts including internal organs of a goat is consumed cooked or roasted for immediate consumption. For long term use it is chopped into small cubes or minced, then browned in its own fat (kavurma), and kept in a dark and cold cellar for later use. This is the traditional food of Kurban Bayramı (Eid). No wedding is complete without “Keşkek”.  It is made from pierced goat meat mixed with mashed ashura wheat and chickpeas and cooked altogether. Some add sugar or salt over while consuming. “Kökarası” (root dish) is made from bony goat meat, bulgur, onions, tomatoes, salt and water. It is served especially after a funeral to guests. For “Shepard’s Kebab” (Çoban Kebabı) a fat billy goat’s meat is seasoned for some days in oil. Then meat cubes on a long skewer are fried over a 2 meter long cube. When done they are consumed with chopped onions wrapped in flat breads. This is another dish for festive occasions. Trout from the Manavgat river is either eaten roasted or fried. Chicken is eaten mostly cooked with vegetables and served together with rice or bulgur. Eggs are used as food (omelet) or as ingredients of pastries and cakes. Various edible birds are hunted by man and they either are eaten roasted or on site or brought home. Halvas, deserts fresh and dried fruits are served either after a meal or on social and festive occasions. To make proper baklava it should have between 40 to 80 layers. Flour and semolina halva, rice pudding,   pumpkin deserts are other kinds of sweets consumed and offered to guests.  Fruits are grapes, plums, cherries, mulberries, water melons, wild berries, nuts and hazel nuts. Oranges and tangerines do not grow at this altitude even though the coast is only 70 km. away. Bee-hiving is popular. Ürünlü people eat and drink not only to survive but to enjoy the meal, the company and to ensure and maintain communal health and wellbeing. Next, meals and their recipes show variety depending on the social occasion that calls for them and their physical settings. Occasions that  call  for communal  dinners  are  weddings,  Ramadan meals,  funerals  and religious holidays. Each family on the other hand caters for their guests and host them in the guest rooms either during the day or overnight. Ürünlü village houses’ sizes vary between 100-500 square meters. They have guest rooms that can be accessed either from inside for familiar guests or from outside for strangers and their animals. The hosting family has full responsibility for the total wellbeing of their guests from offering food to offering them shelter and safety during the visit.

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