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saffron last won the day on November 23 2016

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About saffron

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    Turkish Instructor

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  1. You’re welcome, İbrahim Abi.. Yes, cranberry is part of the confusion. It seems there is a general tendency to put all the Vaccinium species growing in the Black Sea Region (eastern parts) into one fictive category of ‘yaban mersini’.. Bilberry naturaly grows in the region.So not only some local names (likapa, ayı üzümü, çoban üzümü..) a standard name is already established, too, namely yaban mersini, for V. myrtillus , though some writers use this botanical name for blueberry, (even in the scientific literature in English).. The name yaban mersini must be given to bilberry because
  2. Yes, probably the orginal name was 'mersinlik' , meaning the place where mersins grow or are abundant. There are many more places sharing their names with plants.. Yes, it was called İçel, but even then, the name Mersin was used, but these two names were denoting different administrative concepts: The larger one was covering the smaller district.
  3. I went to Senirkent, an Isparta town, at the weekend. I was surprised to see those small white berries, namely mersin (myrtle or Myrtus communis) as mersin is a typical Mediterranean fruit and grown in gardens for its medical benefits and fragrant flowers (even leaves and branches)..The berries have a strong taste, and, although it is so common, I hardly met anybody who ate the berries..They are abundant and free in the coastal towns, but in that town market of Isprata , expensive!! Who buy them and why? I think the news about its medical benefits are widespread now. But again, there is a con
  4. What would you do, if you want some pudding in the middle of the winter, made of something other than milk? But you have beans,chickpeas, wheat, raisins, dried appricots, dried figs.. in your cellar, don’t you? Oh yes, oranges are on the market, what about the fantastic aroma of orange peels? Even more you can add: peanuts, hazelnuts, actually I should say, whatever the nut you love, pinenuts, for instance..! Then red currents, cinnamon, cloves.. Red currents and cinnamon bars maybe put in the puding or stay on top, but you can add cloves while cooking (in a small bag, to take it ou
  5. The answer: the mother and her daughter! No, nobody fell into the cauldron by accident, don’t worry!! ‘Analı kızlı’ is the name given to a soup, probably by a funny housewife first, which means ‘ with mother and daughter’..In this cast, mother is the egg-sized balls made of bulgur, enveloping fried mince (the famous ‘içli köfte’) while the daughter is only the small bulgur balls with no mince inside..yet there is one more actor or actress whose name is forgotten: meat cubes (what do you suggest?) Yes, ‘içli köfte’ is the famous speciality of the Southeastern Anatolia cuisine, and the pr
  6. What did you expect? Tas means bowl..but small bowls for serving soup, etc are called 'kase' A tas kebabı or bowl kebab is called so because, after meat, onions, garlic ,tomato paste and spices are mixed and cooked until the meat is fried enough, (meat is fried first, then onion and garlic and finally tomato paste is added) the meat in the pot is covered with a bowl and water is added . So meat is not directly cooked in water..(there are varities with potato or other stuff). But the word 'tas kebabı' is used by ordinary restaurants only for meat cooked with potato and spices...
  7. It was the first visit of my grandma after I was born.. As she lived abroad, she couldn’t find an earlier chance to see her granddaughter. So, I had grown enough to appreciate the fantastic dolls and toys she brought with her. . Two things remained in my memory from this visit: A big Mickey Mouse with a broad smile on his face and a soup, which we all loved and called it ‘grandma’s soup’. However, when I later read the tale of ‘Stone Soup’ , ‘a-ha!’ I said to myself, ‘this must be my grandma’s soup!’ Yes, it was.. In the Central Anatolia town we lived, all you could give to a hungry s
  8. Kızılcık, the bright red beauty of this pale but peaceful autumn..Maybe I should call it the autumn ruby..I mean, yes, cornels or cornelian cherry (or Cornus mas).. Not bright red always , there are many varieties in this Anatolia, one of which is has a color between light brown and orange. Actually this was the type I knew in the name of ‘kızılcık’, like most of the Central-Anatolian people, therefore, I was extremely surprised when I met those big ( as big as an olive), bright, and a little juicy , transparent- red fruits called ‘ergen’ , in Elmalı (Antalya) , as I didn’t expect that t
  9. Pomegranate syrup is the name given to it, but actually it is not a syrup in the real sense, as there is no sugar added to it.. It is simply pomegranate juice, boiled for hours, until it becomes a thick liquid, and caramelized to some degree.. Unlike the syrups on the market with different labels, giving the impression that they are the pomegaranate syrup, the real pomegaranate syrup, as it is understood in the local tradition, has no additive whatsoever..and if you have tasted the original one, like me, you wouldn’t buy them. If you still buy them, read the ingredients: there must be wr
  10. Allspice versus yenibahar: there is some confusion about it..Although the tree of allspice is given a botanical name Pimenta dioica or P. officinalis, yenibahar is sometimes called P. racemosa, and sometimes P. dioica..it can be a mixture of these two, ..I don't know if this is important..Just as a note, I wrote.. Now big juicy green peppers must be in your garden, just cook this 'iç pilav' and fill the peppers with it!! oh, where was your home? Sure, kaburga dolması! Maybe the best example for iç pilav.. and what about midye (mussel) dolması? You don't need to fill mussels wi
  11. Do you think the pilau served at restaurants or probably at dinners you are invited is the whole story of Turkish pilau? No!! The Ottoman, therefore İstanbul traditon of food consumption was richer than the other parts of the country in some respects.. Pilau is one example for that. Today people hurriedly cook plain pilau as a side dish, or sometimes add ‘şehriye’ (small sized pasta produced for making pilau or soup). But the truth is more tasty than this!. Here is a list of the material traditionaly used and still in use with rice: Almond (badem) Blackcurrent (kuş üzüm
  12. Maybe I should talk about the tarhana soup, too. Like milk powder, it is a condensed material and becomes consumable with addition of water and some butter. The quantity of water needed depends on two things, the tarhana, itself, and your choice..As I wrote, tarhana is not something standard..So the best way to follow is to try..If not the first, your second attempt will yield the result you want..But I can give a rough measure: for one liter of water a tea cup of tarhana would be a safe beginning. I use a little more than this, as I love the soup when thick. Butter or oil should be added
  13. You're welcome ! As to the serious side of kakule, as I said, except for the areas bordering Arabian countries, kakule is not an issue of tradition, but it seems it becomes a new trend. So whatever the shopkeeper says will be based on what he reads..To read what? Some , or in fact, a few of the books they read, ok, have some historical content, but most of the books on sale today have no reliable reference. I don't mean that what they say is wrong, but they lack reference..A pharmacologist, for instance just sits and writes a book, but what he /she does is actually copying the material f
  14. No, tarhana is never used as a spice. The powder is used to make a tarhana soup, with additon of water and oil or butter. The restaurants trying to look attractive for tourists use different things like curry..Turkish food culture has no familiarity with curry, but now you can see it served with chicken. It is a soft orange powder, and tangy. Sumak or rhus has a red or dark red colour. It has a sour taste, and is used together with or instead of lemmon in some salads. When you order kebap, and if it is served with sliced onions, those tiny red particles on the onion slices are suma
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