Turkish Cuisine
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Culinary Art in Ürünlü Village, Turkey

During a social archaeological study in Küçükköy village by the Neolithic Çatalhöyük Site in 1997, there was always a haste for making  and/or  eating  food  just  as  ten  thousand  years  ago  according  to  Mathewsxiv   and Ergenekonxv. Archaeometric studies carried out on floor and roof deposits, utensil remains, and bones showed that their Çatalhöyük ancestors consumed domestic cereals such as wheat (emmer), barley, rye, vetch; wild plants, vegetables, pulses, tubers and herbs; fruits (wild plums, apples, figs berries (hackberry), nuts (almonds, pistachios, acorns); animals (sheep, some cattle and goats; hunted aurochs, red deer, boars, hares, foxes, badgers, bulls, equids such as wild asses, onagers, horses and then birds); fishes, shells and water fowls, geese, ducks from marshes on rafts and (Çarşamba) river’s banks; eggs and seeds and drank water, fruit  juice,  milk;  used  salt (from  Salt  Lake),  syrup  sweeteners,  honey  and oil  while domesticated sheep ate wild leaves and grass; their dogs bonesxvi. Inhabitants of Çatalhöyük ate their food both fresh and processed after butchering by drying, smoking, salting, pickling, parching and toasting, leaching, grinding and pounding as well as cooking, boiling, baking, grilling and roasting. The authors conclude that “food habitus was small-scale and household oriented, with occasional  larger-scale communal  feasts  and  most  likely sacrifices,  punctuating the domestic and ritual life at the settlement”. Through this “everyone learned the taste, textures, cuisine and style of Çatalhöyük living. While at home, evidence suggests that household members ate together around the oven, on the platform or roof, sharing” food. To present food serving vessels such as basketry, wooden vessels, mat and turtle-shell plates, bone and stone utensils in the form of spoons, and, later, pottery” and goblets for drinking were used. Food was stored in “bin rooms” inside “finely coiled baskets/platters, skin bags” later in “woven bags” and in “small ceramic pots”. Atalay and Hastorf, therefore, conclude that “the study of food is also the study of society”. “Tasks like assembling the ingredients for making a favorite soup, the easiest way to butcher and fillet a sheep, or the best spot in the marsh for collecting eggs” required expertise. “Through these processes of daily food knowledge and practice, the culture of Çatalhöyük was created and recreated in a surprisingly steady manner for more than one thousand years”.

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