The Turkish cuisine is a blend of flavors, texture, aromas and colors. Too inspiring!
So attractive and tasty that was the subject of one of the most beautiful and sensitive film about culinary art – The Spice of Life – of the Turkish filmmaker Tassos Boulmetis. A story that begins remembering that both food and life require salt for flavor.
The Turkish cuisine, whereas gastronomy definition is “the art of cooking in order to give the greatest pleasure to those who eat,” has support in an ancient culture which, especially, sharpens the senses.
“The rich and varied diet we experience when visiting Turkey is due to its geographical location, the extent of territory, climate conditions that provide a variety of fruits, vegetables and fish. These foods added to the cultural diversity of the people who lived and still live as the Ottomans and nations they conquered in five centuries, between them, Greeks and Romans, provide us taste a diverse cuisine in the ingredients and combinations of spices “, bases Janine Malanski, Brazilian cultural manager who was in Turkey twice in the last year. One of them invited by Turkey Brazil Cultural Center.
This article on gastronomy will be the first of a number of considerations that she will make based in the weeks spent in that country, which astounds with its history and its mysteries.
Janine adores photograph and as we can see, her comments will always be accompanied by images loaded with sensations and sensibility, which communicate in the silent of light and color.
Feeding is the basis of health of a people and Turkey certainly shows the vitality of its people to the tourist eyes. As well as an invitation to a dinner or a lunch is a demonstration to welcome foreign visitors. So our narrator was invited to experience what is most tasty in this country that was configured as the birthplace of civilizations.
In this tasting trajectory, she remembers the dish of lamb meat (Tuzda Kuzu) wrapped in a salt crust (like an egg), which is flambéed in front of the diners, as a sacred ritual. After the fire, the hard shell of salt is broken so everyone can enjoy the delicacy contained within it. “Was the best lamb meat I’ve ever tasted”, confides.
But her memory about Turkish cuisine is not restricted to lamb meat. Recalls missing the plentiful breakfast, with vegetables, olives, honey (bal), butter (kaymak – that looks like a cream), and sesame bagels (simit). The honey is consumed with the comb and oddly it sounds, is the most tender honeycomb existing in the world, so soft you can chew and swallow. “Just remember it makes my mouth water”, says she.
If it the healthly breakfast was not enough, we found Turkish woman, in restaurants, stalls, boats, easily preparing the gözleme (bread, like a pancake, made in a plate), which did not give her peace and were direct appeals to avoid the sin in vain and the pleasures of gluttony.
Thus, at a glance Janine was proving the traditional gözleme stuffed with some of these ingredients – cheese, spinach, meat, nutella, among others. Either they were always tasty fillings of that thin dough, warm, coming straight from the plate.
Walking through the sunny streets in spring and summer period is to be enchanted and enjoy the colorful and plenty of fruits and vegetables exposed in small businesses or in stalls fairs. Taste dates, apricots, cherries, fresh figs and take pomegranate juice is part of the tour.
Not to mention cigars (Yabrak), made of fig leaf, stuffed with rice and meat or vegetables and spices. A curiosity: there are machines to roll the cigar on sale at Spice Bazaar”.
Everything is so colorful!
But nothing compares to the Spice Bazaar, also known as Egyptian Bazaar, which is a set of small shops in Istanbul. “The building is part of külliye (complex) of the Yeni Mosque (New Mosque). The structure was designed by the chief architect of the Ottoman court Koca Kasım Ağa, a pupil of Mimar Sinan, but was completed by an architect named Mustafa in 1660 “. Wikipedia source.
No photo or video may reproduce which means Spice Bazaar. Enter in it is engrosse in the magnificent world of aromas, flavors and colors of Turkish food. Only this tour already justifies the trip to Turkey. What to talk about the sweets ….
Now that you are salivating we will let you with your dreams to this distant land. Maybe one day you may know this place where the art of cooking is so old that, going back in time, we can imagine the first gourmets, cooks, doing miracles to preserve food and trying to be the most creative possible to carry over in an environment where the pots were iron cauldrons hung over the fire.
In the giant Ottoman palaces or in the tents of the warriors, even in modest and humble houses, were processed in real alchemy in herbs and foods to ensure taste and quality. Alchemies resulting in tasty dishes that have been passed from father to son and will never be forgotten.
“Both life and food need spices to add flavor”.
*All images published in the article are from Janine Malanski.