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TURKISH CUISINE IN THE HEAT OF SUMMER

TURKISH CUISINE IN THE HEAT OF SUMMER

26.11.2020

As summer starts to show its face and short sleeves,light and comfy dresses and thin linen dresses come out of the wardrobes, richdining tables and the finest delicacies of the Turkish cuisine that appear onthese tables in all their splendor are transformed into a potpourri that bringstogether different flavors.


Maraş Ice Cream

Ice cream is one of the most popular and delicioustreats of summer. Loved by people of all ages, this delicacy forms an importantpart of the dessert culture with its history dating back to centuries ago and agreat host of varieties. And the most renowned ice cream variety unique toTurkey is the Maraş ice cream –the foremost regional delicacy in Maraş, thefame of which has spread all across Turkey over the years. Maraş ice cream owesits flavor to the milk obtained from the goats feeding on the endemic plantsthat grow on Mount Ahir in the southeastern province of Kahramanmaraş while itsaroma and taste brought by wild orchid root seeds (sahlep) makes it one of themost indispensable flavors of summer.


Ayran

Made by diluting yoghurt with water and adding salt,this yoghurt-based Turkish drink can also have a light foam forming on top whenit is stirred rapidly for a prolonged time during its preparation. Cooled andserved with fresh mint on top in summer, ayran is frequently consumed with meatand vegetable dishes as well as kebabs.


Sherbet

With hundreds of different varieties, sherbet (şerbet)is a delicacy that has been consumed for centuries as a refreshmentparticularly by the warmer eastern civilizations before the discovery of modernbeverages. Made from all kinds of fruits one can think of including lemons,apples, pomegranates, grapes, blossoms of fruit trees and even from flowerssuch as violets, lilies, jasmines, water lilies, silverberry blossoms, sherbetis then sweetened with honey or sugar and its smell and aroma boosted with theaddition of musk, amber, rose and aloe. Some sherbets are consumed warm whileothers are taken cold. Once served to the guests of the Ottoman court visitingafter the sultan had a child and sold by mobile peddlers in marketplace and thefairgrounds during the Ottoman era, sherbet has become more as a touristicelement today.


Bici Bici

Bici bici pudding (Bici bici muhallebisi) is a dessertunique to Adana province, consumed in the summer. The most commonly known formof this sweet drink, which is popularly called bici bici, consists of crushedice, cooked starch, granulated sugar and sherbet. While it used to be a productthat was consumed almost exclusively by street peddlers in the past, bici biciis now also served as a dessert in restaurants and cafés in recent years.Widely consumed in Bursa as well as Adana and other provinces in theMediterranean region, bici bici is the favorite of those who look for arefreshment in the heat of summer.


Meze

A staple of the Eastern Mediterranean, andparticularly the Turkish cuisines, mezes are usually served cold and inaddition to being consumed as appetizers before the main course, they alsoenjoy a principal place in the Turkish cuisine as indispensable elements ofraki tables. Mezes come in a vast variety. They vary from simple varieties suchas cheese, fruits, and yoghurt to vegetables like borlotti beans in olive oil,purslane, eggplants and paprika and seafoods such as calamari and shrimps.Rather than eating one’s fill, mezes add flavor to the dining experience andcolor to the chats at the table.


Stuffed Squash Blossoms

Made from squash blossoms collected in the early hoursof the morning before the rise of the sun across many regions of the Aegean andthe Mediterranean, this dish enjoys the seat of honor on the dining tables insummer. It is very important to collect in the early hours of the morning whenthey are fully open and worn away by the heat the blossoms, harvesting of whichstarts in July. In the Aegean and the Mediterranean, you can find in theneighborhood marketplaces squash blossoms collected and lined up in water. Andif you happen to visit Seferihisar, you can also buy at the regionalmarketplace the stuffed squash blossoms prepared and cooked by local women.


Ayran Aşı Soup

One of the most important flavors of the Turkishcuisine, ayran aşı soup comes to the rescue of those who wish to refreshthemselves in summer as it gets warmer. A filling and nutritious food thanks toingredients such as chickpeas, yoghurt and wheat, ayran aşı soup is a staple ofthe dinner tables across Turkey.