• Classical Period Ottoman Palace Cuisine
  • Classical Period Ottoman Palace Cuisine
  • Classical Period Ottoman Palace Cuisine
  • Classical Period Ottoman Palace Cuisine
  • Classical Period Ottoman Palace Cuisine

Another important issue during this period was the provision of the palace. While the population of the palace was 4-5 thousand at the beginning of the 16th century, it was more than 10 thousand in the 17th century. For this reason, a food supply network was established for the food..

Classical Period Ottoman Palace Cuisine
Palace cuisine is the highest point that Ottoman cuisine can reach. The diet based on meat and milk, which came from the way of life in Central Asia, was continued. The Turks, who were influenced by Persian and Arab cultures during the migration, carried the characteristics of these cultures to Anatolia. Finally, they met with different products grown in Anatolia, where they settled, and were also influenced by the Greek cuisine. The Ottoman palace cuisine, which was highly diversified under the influence of different cultures, is very rich.26
Another important issue during this period was the provision of the palace. While the population of the palace was 4-5 thousand at the beginning of the 16th century, it was more than 10 thousand in the 17th century. For this reason, a food supply network was established for the food needs of the palace. The right of priority and the right to choose quality products belonged to the palace. Products were generally brought from Istanbul and the provinces. Among the goods brought to the palace, some were reserved only for the high class. No one except members of the dynasty and senior executives could consume these products.27 Some of these products; duck, pigeon, cream, kashkaval cheese, some fresh fruits, caviar. This cultural heritage continued with the transfer of the characteristics of the Turks from Central Asia to the Ottoman Empire. These eating habits changed a little in the 15th century. 
In particular, the change occurred when basic foodstuffs were not limited to a few products. Most products are used together in a balanced way. Rice, wheat, meat, ghee also played the leading role in this period. 28 The basic rule in the Ottoman palace cuisine is the relationship between health and food, and this understanding is based on traditional Islamic medicine. It was believed that there was a balance in the body, and when the balance was disturbed, fasting was done. It was also different with the food that should be eaten according to the seasons. There was also a kitchen worker in the palace by the name of fastidious. In the spring and autumn, blood-forming foods were prepared, and in summer, foods that would reduce bile were consumed.
The people of the palace ate twice a day. Breakfast was eaten in the morning and dinner in the afternoon. Except for banquets, simplicity was preferred. The meal didn't take long. In the palace, bread was divided into fodula flour and pure flour. “Palace bread was of three qualities; good quality has, medium quality has and mortar.” Apart from these breads, many types of bread were made. Bread and bakery products; Sesame, black cumin, mastic (gum), egg, anise were added. Since the 16th century, there has been a decrease in the weight of the bread produced in the palace.30
Classical Ottoman cuisine was quite different from today's in terms of taste. Clarified butter was preferred in meals. 
Since tomato paste did not exist at that time, meals were flavored with various fruits and spice sauces. Plums and apples were the most preferred fruits to give tartness. One dish contained many different flavors. There were dishes where even vinegar and honey were used together. He had a taste for soup and rice. The culture of eating offal continued to increase. “In the records; head, trotter, tripe, şerdan, liver, mumbar purchases are seen.”31 Red meat was consumed more than white meat in the palace. Each meat had kebab and stew. 
Turning was also a preferred cooking method. At the banquet tables, the translation was usually done. Fish and seafood were also used during this period. In the classical period, shrimp, roe, caviar and oysters were consumed. Apart from pastries, sweets, pickles and drinks were made in the halvahhane. The most preferred dessert was baklava. Almonds were added to baklava and it was also distributed on special occasions. Another dessert was kadayif, they called this dessert "Kadayif-ı Hassa".
It was one of the favorite sweets in Zerdede. While only dynasty members could consume kadayif, all courtiers could consume zerde. Saffron was used to give color while making zerde. Saffron spice was added to most dishes and desserts. “The most popular halvah was Zülbaye halva.” Crushed almond halva was also served at banquet tables. “Although there are many types of halva, some of them are; white halva, soapy halva, pistachio halva, chestnut, tahini, menfiş, ringçini and regret.”32
Almost all fruit jams were made. In addition to the well-known fruits whose jams are made abundantly today; Jams were also made from melon, watermelon, jujube, walnut, lemon, zucchini and eggplant. Although jams were made in the palace, they could also be supplied from the provinces. Marmalade was given the names "Rub" and "Murabba". “One of the characteristics of the halvahane was that it was a kind of palace pharmacy.” Syrup and pastes were prepared for the patients there.33
Ottoman palace cuisine experienced its most glorious period in the 16th century. Many kinds of spices were used together in cooking. It was almost as if a bird's milk was missing from the banquets. “Some of the dishes served at the banquets; lamb kebab, applesauce, milk bread, dolmas, artichoke stew, baklava, wraps, cheese pie, tandoori kebab, pilafs, kebabs, stuffed eggs, soups, various sherbets, desserts and compotes.” All this was prepared in abundance and took its place on the table. Liquids consumed in the palace in the Classical Period Ottoman Palace Cuisine; Ayran, water, compote, sherbet, coffee and boza. Drinking coffee in the palace was reserved for the high class. 34
 The feast and banquet tables of the Ottoman State are legendary. They were tables filled with various pilafs, meat dishes, gyros, sweet soups, halvah, dishes cooked with poultry, and many more. This tradition, which has been going on for a long time in the Turks, continued to be done properly during the Ottoman Empire period. 35
In the 15th century, cooling was done with snow and ice. There were places to hide snow and ice in Galata. These places were called freezers. Drinks were sold to the palace and the rich to be consumed cold.36 Sherbet consumption in the Ottoman palace was quite high. They consumed cinnamon sherbet the most in winter, and mulberry and honey sherbet in summer. Ottoman sherbets extended to western civilizations. 
While eating in the palace, there was always sherbet on the table in special ewers. Sherbet was also served to guests, and pomegranate sherbet was perceived as being especially polite.37 In the Ottoman Empire, food was consumed not only for taste but also for healing. Every meal or drink had a health philosophy. For example, cinnamon and cloves, which are the most used in sherbets, were used to remove edema and to clean the urinary tract. “The most popular sherbets of the palace; It was made from lily, rose, daffodil, jasmine and lotus flowers. Some of its sherbets, which are examples of historical richness; They were sherbets made from beautiful fruits that come to mind, such as walnuts, lemonade, quince, plums, almonds, pomegranates, mulberries.”
Spices have a very special place in the Ottoman palace cuisine. It both sweetens the food and is beneficial for health. In the classical period, the use of spices was at an extreme. Features in kebabs; cinnamon, cumin, black pepper, coriander, saffron, ginger were used. The famous palace kebabs; shirt kebab, bird kebab, muhzir kebab, milk kebab, cutlet kebab, salma are vaccines. The most common soups with lots of spices are; lentils, potatoes, yoghurt, wedding, rice, sour puerperal, chicken and fish soups. One of the most used cooking methods is stew. Unlike kebab, it is a juicy cooking of meat. Garlic, onion and vinegar play the leading role in the stew. Pilaki prepared with olive oil are always on the table and served cold. Some prominent stews and stews; oyster stew, chamomile stew, rabbit stew,
The Ottoman palace cuisine of the classical period is much more ostentatious than the later periods, and it is a cuisine where flavors are used together. This is also related to the well-being of the state's economy. It has been diversified and enriched by participating in the food culture inherited from the old Turkish states.38