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Everything posted by saffron

  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
  15. Probably anybody who lived in Turkey for a period long enough to taste at least the basic Turkish foods has already heard of Tarhana.. Yes, that powder, with a sweet soft orange tone, having a unique aroma.. This aroma is so unique that, you cannot confuse it with another food; if something smells like tarhana, yes, it is tarhana, yet, there is no standard way of preparing tarhana!! The only two standard ingredients are flour and yoghurt; to this material, you can add anything you like from a long list of vegetables, herbs, legumes, even fruits; you can add them raw and grinded, or boile
  16. Turks seem to have invented a peculiar way of using it! I read somewhere: if you have to drive after drinking some alcohol, chew a piece of kakule and don't worry about the breath-test ! how? Supposedly, it diminishes the amount of alcohol evaporating in the mouth!! the poor breath-tesing device which doesn't know about the creative skills of Turks will tell the officer that the driver is sober
  17. If you move to Fethiye, there will be no change in your electric bills, I guarantee that!!
  18. The first time I tasted it was when an Iranian office-mate brought some desert from Iran, and served it to the office people..Following the Turkish traditon we all thanked or tried to look thankful for that too sweet, too fatty (even when compared with baklava) thing which had a totally unfamiliar aroma..Arabic or Persian cuisine does not sound like something from the space to Turks, but this much was really too much... The pieces of the desert somehow disappeared, but not in the normally expected way, for sure..It was only me, for the sake of politeness, who tried to swallow a small piece. It
  19. Yes, I didn't meet anybody who consumes coriander leaves, but so long as I move from one location to another, I should be ready to meet a different habit of food consumption..and a variety or a species of a vegetable or a totally unfamiliar fruit,.this always surprises me.. Cumin is more widely used than coriander.. Like coriander, cumin is believed to have carminative features. In the Southeastern region, where lentil is most commonly used, cumin is a 'must' for the meals made of lentil, as lentil causes intestinal gas and cumin is the cure! Once a friend of mine from Antakya was surpri
  20. Coriander is not known much..Only some local folks appreciate it, like the Southestern Anatolia people..But it occupies a very important place in Antakya cuisine, and let me share a secret with you: if there is no coriander in the famous Antakya dürümü (stuffed rolls), it is never an Antakya dürümü in the real sense! Sure, the paste of a local variety a red pepper shouldn't be ignored. Coriander, or Coriandrum sativum, is called 'kişniş' in Turkey: Kishnish. As far as I know, only its seeds are used. It has a unique and strong aroma. Maybe because of this, it is not so widely used as mayb
  21. Hi Çukurbağlı..I'm glad to hear that..I'd love to know what herbs and spices you use! ! ok, maybe I should start a topic in the Turkish cuisine page..
  22. Hi Ken!! yes it's been a while..though sometimes I took a look at the boards without signing in, to check if there was an urgent need for Turkish.. So you are looking for a new place to live in? If you are tired of the places too hot, even hotter than before, I have some good ideas!! Hi İbrahim Abi! sure I know the herbal shop at the 'Köy Garajı' .. I talked to the owner of the shop, himself, to see if he is in this business following the family tradition or is it just another trendy new shop..Yes, he has some traditional knowledge, that's good..this type of shops are rare now..But d
  23. Hi there!! It's me again!! Years pass by running..I just read my message posted years ago..I was very enthusiastic about herbs and herbal medicine, and I had an intend to start a subforum here..But the amount of information available was quite limited..standardization of names was another problem..Yes, I studied a lot on the subject; though limited in number, I found some reliable sources as well, but when classified in terms of reliability, there is a huge body of information you can obtain but you cannot freely use , if you want to be sure of what you are talking about..So I'm sorry, a
  24. Iky, I have a story for you..Just imagine yourself struggling with the verb structures (voices). The last thing you have learned is the passive voice, ‘oh it is simple’ you say, ‘bilmek is to know, bilinmek is to be known, that’s it! Then you try other verbs, görmek-görünmek, ‘yeah, sure, to see and to be seen! But there is a problem. You recall that there is görülmek, too. ‘If görünmek is to be seen, what is görülmek, then?’How many to-be-seens are there in Turkish? With no answer in your mind, you fall asleep on the chair you are studying.. In your restless sleep, the verbs come to your dr
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