In a dream Evliya Çelebi had on his 21st birthday, he was in the presence of Prophet Mohammad and Muslim saints. As he wanted to wish to mediate for the Prophet Mohammad’s soul, his tongue slipped and he was granted to travel. From the very moment he woke up he devoted himself to traveling. Keeping loyal to this purpose he traveled many tombs and monuments and went to religious pilgrimages. As a religious person, he joined expeditions with the army and went on diplomatic trips. From time to time he also traveled as a tourist. Travelling for 41 years throughout the Ottoman Empire, Evliya even visited places like Persia, Ethiopia, Sweden and Vienna.
During his trips, he recorded every little detail about the places he traveled with great care. As an intellectual food lover (gourmand) or food expert (gourmet), Evliya took detailed notes about food and beverage culture of the places he visited.
Evliya Çelebi could be qualified as a gastro geographer. The many food statements that he put forward, contained very detailed observations of the region or country he visited. Following in Evliya’s footsteps, people who have a keen sense of appetite or are interested in gastronomy, the food culture of places visited becomes the main focus of any trip. In these trips, travelers experience the food culture through, seeing, eating, and sometimes even cooking.
Where to see and what to eat have become the two most important questions among today’s travelers. Food tourism has been booming over the past few years. In an effort to introduce and promote Turkish culinary culture, food tours, harvests, cooking classes taking place all over the country has been a very valuable addition to tourism.
Holly Chase: Evliya Çelebi Seyahatnamesi, Türk Sofrasına bir Kılavuz; II. International Food Conference, 1988