• Historical Development of Turkish Cuisine and Nutrition Culture
  • Historical Development of Turkish Cuisine and Nutrition Culture
  • Historical Development of Turkish Cuisine and Nutrition Culture
  • Historical Development of Turkish Cuisine and Nutrition Culture
  • Historical Development of Turkish Cuisine and Nutrition Culture
  • Historical Development of Turkish Cuisine and Nutrition Culture
  • Historical Development of Turkish Cuisine and Nutrition Culture
  • Historical Development of Turkish Cuisine and Nutrition Culture

The richness of variety in Turkish cuisine depends on many factors. In short, the diversity in the products offered by the Central Asian and Anatolian lands, the interaction with many different cultures throughout a long historical process, the new tastes that developed in the palaces...

Historical Development of Turkish Cuisine and Nutrition Culture
*SÜRÜCÜOĞLU, Metin Saip** ÖZÇELİK, Ayşe Özfer
Every nation has a cuisine shaped according to the socio-cultural and economic structure of the country and society, its historical identity, dietary habits, taste, agricultural production and structure. Turkish cuisine, which is an important element of Turkish cultural life; it is also one of the few most famous cuisines in the world. It is very rich in terms of variety and taste, as well as food preparation and cooking techniques, special day meals, kitchen tools and equipment.
When Turkish cuisine is mentioned, Turkish history and the geography where this history was formed should come to mind. Turks who came to Anatolia from Central Asia have a rich culinary culture due to their long historical background and experience. People's diets are shaped according to the cultural, geographical, ecological and economic structure and historical process.
The richness of variety in Turkish cuisine depends on many factors. In short, the diversity in the products offered by the Central Asian and Anatolian lands, the interaction with many different cultures throughout a long historical process, the new tastes that developed in the palaces of the Seljuk and Ottoman empires played a role in the new structure of the culinary culture.
Keywords: Turkish culinary culture, nutritional culture, historical development.
The fact that people have to be fed during the process from birth to death has caused them to reveal some rules about eating and drinking since the first ages. These rules, combined with the traditions, customs, religious beliefs, customs and ceremonies of the societies in accordance with their own structures and value judgments, have revealed the society's unique nutrition and culinary culture (Halıcı, 1999).
Primitive people, who fed on what they found in their environment in order to survive, spent a significant part of their time in search of food. Over time, they learned to choose from the foods they found in nature, to grow the suitable ones, to process and store what they grow and to use them when they are not available. Thus, they have passed from a nomadic life to a settled life order (Baysal, 2002: 29). It has been observed that even in the cave period, prehistoric people reserved a separate place in the cave for their feeding and used tools there.
Thus, the kitchen began with the first human, albeit primitive. In the following ages, the kitchen has also developed in parallel with the development of human beings, and the commercial kitchen has emerged with the tendency of people to eat outside their homes (Dereli, 1989: 1). The use of a separate room special for cooking in the houses is in AD VII. century began. These rooms, which consisted of a small section next to the halls, did not have cooking utensils such as a stove. In the eleventh century, Kaşgarlı Mahmut introduced the Turkish cuisine with both the place and the material culture items in it. In addition, one room of each Turkish house was arranged as a kitchen, as it is today, and this part of the house was called “ashlık”, which means the place where food is cooked (Birer, 1997).
The foods that were consumed raw or fried on fire in prehistoric times were cooked in pots after women started making pottery and thus the art of cooking was born (Sürücüoğlu and Özçelik, 2005: 8). Cooking processes that started on hot stone in ovens before, date back to BC. It was made in a pot between 6000-5000 years. It is reported that the first cooking vessels were reptilian shells, the scapula of the animal and the stomach of an animal. Wheat and similar grains were first cooked on the stone and turned into flour between two stones. People mixed the ground flour they obtained with water and turned it into a slurry, and then they learned how to make bread (Merdol, 2000).
Technologies related to food production, processing and storage, which enabled human beings to transition to a settled life, were largely developed in Anatolia and spread from there to other parts of the world. In this respect, Anatolia has a rich nutritional culture (Baysal, 2002: 29). Because of being a part of culture, eating habits differ according to various societies. Today, Turkish cuisine, which gives rich examples in every branch of culinary art; It is one of the three cuisines of the world, together with French and Chinese cuisines, with its cooking techniques, table setting, and unique serving styles (Sürücüoğlu and Özçelik, 2005: 10). Turks who came to Anatolia from Central Asia have a rich culinary culture due to their long historical background and experience.
Because Turks have met many cultures for a long time, they have been neighbors with many nations and have lived together with them. In addition to these cultural exchanges, factors such as the abundance of food varieties, traditions and customs have helped the formation of a rich cuisine. People's diets are shaped according to the cultural, geographical, ecological and economic structure and historical process. When it comes to Turkish cuisine, the foods and beverages that provide the nutrition of the people living in Turkey, their preparation, cooking and preservation; The tools, equipment and techniques required for these processes, eating habits, all practices and beliefs developed around the kitchen should be understood. The richness of variety in Turkish cuisine depends on many factors.
In short, the diversity in the products offered by the Central Asian and Anatolian lands, the interaction experienced with many different cultures throughout a long historical process, and the new tastes that developed in the palaces of empires such as the Seljuk and Ottoman played a role in the new structure of the Turkish culinary culture. Turkish cuisine, which consists of dishes prepared with cereals, meat, various vegetables and some meat, soups, olive oil dishes, pastries, drinks, desserts and herbs; It has also revealed its own healthy food types such as molasses, yoghurt, tarhana and bulgur.
Eating and drinking styles, which contain flavors that differ from region to region, carry a different meaning, even sanctity, with special days, celebrations and ceremonies. Turkish cuisine includes many dishes and food types, as well as examples that can serve as a source for healthy and balanced nutrition and vegetarian cuisine, as well as in terms of variety and suitability for the palate (Anonymous, 2005: 1).
Central Asian Period
After the Turks settled in Central Asia in the Neolithic Age, they chose the steppes between the Ural Mountains and the Altai Mountains as their homeland. Equestrian nomadic culture was born and developed here. Having herds of horses and sheep, the Turks migrated to the highlands with large pastures in the spring and descended to the arid valleys, especially the river banks, in the autumn.
Their first food was wheat flour, milk and dairy products, horse and mutton meat, and their drink consisted of kumis prepared from mare's milk. Although fruit and vegetable varieties were limited in the region where they lived, their meals were not simple (Kosay, 1982: 47). The Turks benefited from the animals and plants that grew naturally in the regions they migrated to, they raised the ones that were suitable for the local conditions and used the ones they grew by processing them with simple techniques (Baysal, 2002: 29).
It is only possible to determine the old cuisine and nutrition culture with archaeological excavations. The utensils, statues, food items, animal bones and grave finds obtained from the excavations give important clues about the social and economic life of that period. In Central Asia, AD VI. and VIII. Gold vessels, ornaments, bronze plates depicting hunting scenes and vessels with Turkish inscriptions were also unearthed from the tombs of the centuries. From these graves, there were also findings that mostly mutton was eaten, as well as horse, cattle and deer meats.
While horse meat was more abundant in these tombs in ancient times, then it started to decrease gradually, and venison had completely disappeared. Bird and fish remains were also found in later graves (Ögel, 1984:Driveoğlu and Özçelik, 2005: 9).
Afanasyevo Culture in Central Asia; M.O. It was formed between 2500 and 1700 years. The fact that the bones of sheep and horses are seen next to the bones of hunting animals reveals that they also carried out shepherding along with hunting. BC in West Turkestan Namazgah-Tepe. Mortars, mortars and copper items used for beating grain dating back to 2250 B.C. were unearthed. Barley, wheat, rye and grape grains have also been found at these sites.
Bones of sheep, goats, cattle and camels were also found. M.O. In 2000, the most important cultural center of Southern Siberia was the Andronovo Kurgans in the Minusink Region. M.O. It has been seen that the culture of a nomadic and warrior tribe called Andronovo in Central Asia started to dominate slowly since 1700.
It has been suggested that the Andronovos, who are white and brachycephalic, spread to the Altay-Sayan, Tian Shan Mountains and Kazakhstan, may be the ancestors of the Turks. The most important works of Andronovo culture; Wide-mouthed and flat-bottomed, handleless, triangular or pier-shaped vessels decorated with chintz were spread to the Tian Shan Mountains in the south and to the Don coasts in the west. Spoons made of stone belonging to the Andronovo culture were also found. In this era, camels took place alongside domestic animals such as horses, cattle and sheep; The horse has gained importance not only as a mount and a beast of burden, but also as an animal whose meat is eaten. Wine glasses were found in the hands of the statues erected at the head of the tombs of the ancient Turkic peoples in Central and North Asia (Ögel, 1984).
The Huns are the Turkish tribe who made their name in history for the first time and played the first role on the stage of history. Their first known homeland is today's Mongolia, and the name found in Chinese sources is Hiung-Nu. Huns, BC. VIII. centuries, the Yellow River (Hoang-Ho) was based on the river and posed an increasing serious danger for China (Kosay, 1982: 47). IV. The Huns, seen in Europe in the 16th century, were a continuation of these, and under the rule of Atilla (434-453), they dominated almost all of Europe up to the English Channel (Aslanapa, 1984). In Central Asian Turkish History, the relations of the Turks with the Chinese have always taken a very important place. These relations sometimes continued on friendly terms and sometimes with the wars between the two countries.
With his raids, Mete especially wanted to seize the fertile plains and the silk road, which is of great economic and cultural importance (Ögel, 1979: 35). When the Huns had a great empire, they wanted to wear clothes made of Chinese silk and eat Chinese food. A Chinese vizier, who was in the Great Hun Empire at that time, explained the drawbacks of these thoughts to the khan. According to Chinese historians; The vizier Yueh, who presided over the wedding procession that brought the Chinese princess as a bride to the Hun Khan, went to the Huns and thus entered the service of the Hun Khan.
Hakan also liked the vizier and a good agreement was reached between them. Meanwhile, the Huns began to like Chinese food. Ambassador Yüeh said, “Even if you get Chinese food, they will run out over time or you will not eat them and throw them away. Chinese food is not as delicious as your kumiss and yoghurts and is not suitable for you.” it is stated. According to this vizier, who was worried that the Huns would come under the domination of the Chinese economically and lose their independence, all the Hun people would always look to China to meet their needs and fall under the economic influence of China.
For victory over the enemy is not only by arms; should be taken with economic measures. The treaties with China, which was mainly economical, were aimed at finding the food of the Hun people living in cold climates. If the Chinese provided food aid, the Huns would not attack this country. If this aid was not given, the power of anyone, including the Hun Khan, would not be enough to stop these raids (Ögel, 1979: 43).
The finds of the Hun Period were mostly artifacts from underground tombs, and the inscriptions, statues and altars on the ground in the Göktürk Age. Narrow rimmed jugs and wide rimmed jars were found in the Orhon and Tula Regions. There was a herringbone ornament made with fine lines on the vessels. In the Altai, vessels and leather vessels carved from trees or made of beech bark were found. The most important artifacts in terms of Turkish Cultural History were the silver mugs with or without handles found in many regions (Katan, Kuray, Tuyah). Containers similar to these mugs are also seen among the goblets held by the Gokturk Age statues. Various grades of quality steel have been found in the Altai Mountains.
It is known that the people here are very adept at blacksmithing and welding techniques. Pots made of bronze and tea remains in a vase were found in a tomb belonging to the Hun princes. According to the types of Hun artifacts found in Ordos; knives and small knives, spoons and ornaments, pots, pictures of deer and camels, pictures of sheep and goats, meat-eating animals and pictures of pigs. Horses were also buried with the dead in the Huns.
Located in the foothills of the Altai Mountains in Southern Siberia, BC. IV. and III. In the tomb finds of the centuries, many items from the Huns were unearthed and human and animal dead that did not deteriorate for thousands of years were found in the ice. There are 212 kurgans in three groups near the place where the Selenga River flows into Lake Baikal. In these kurgans; Various wooden items, tripod tables, bronze cauldrons with cylindrical legs, and sticks used as forks were found (Aslanapa, 1984).
The Göktürks, a major political organization that was the first to use the name Turkish as a state and nation, VI. It is a great Turkish empire that was established in the highland region (Ötüken) to the west of the Orhun River in the middle of the century and stretched from Manchuria to the Black Sea coasts. It is known that Göktürks are descended from Asian Huns. The Göktürks established this state with Bumin and his brother Istemi, who received the title of İl Hakan, in 552, and during the reign of Mukan Hakan (553-572), it lived its heyday (Tekin, 1988). The establishment of the Göktürks was the first step for the Turkification of Central Asia.
The empire, which was administratively divided into East and West from the time it was founded, came under the rule of China in 630 and in 682, the eastern part regained its independence after the political struggles of İlteriş (Kutlug) Khan, together with Tonyukuk, the great statesman. During the time of Kapağan Hakan (692-716), all Turks in Central Asia were united as a state, and Bilge Hakan and his brother Kültekin, who came after him, became the most well-known figures of the Göktürk state. The di.kili stone inscriptions found in Orhun Valley are from their time.
These monuments are among the most important treasures of Turkish History (Aslanapa, 1984). The goblets held in the left hand of almost all stone statues belonging to the Gokturk Age reveal the chalice types of that period. In this way, nine types of goblets have been identified and they show how important they are to the daily life of the Göktürks.
Located on the Silk Road, Fergana had natural riches and fertile lands, as well as being an important trade center for a long time. For this reason, many castles, tombs and settlements related to the Göktürk Age in Fergana; Many artifacts have been found showing the way of life, social and economic life of that period.
Here, in Ahsıket Ruins, pottery, bowls and cups with side handles, and pots with handles from the Göktürk Age were found. In another place, flattened, double-handled bowl and casserole pottery, long-necked and handled jugs were found. Sheep bones were also seen in a grave alongside various artifacts, and a single-edged knife was also found among the artifacts. The presence of inscriptions written in Göktürk script on the banks of the Talas River shows that Turkish Culture penetrated this region together with the written language. In these inscriptions, which show that the Turks gradually settled down and began to be interested in agriculture; There were also words expressing nomadic life, information about fields and water channels.
During this period, Turkish culture spread over a wide geographical area. By the way, the Göktürk alphabet was also used in many places. The Göktürks lived as nomads and lived in tents. There were those who lived in a sedentary life as well as those who had houses made of felt tents on their cars. In the finds obtained from the archaeological excavations belonging to the Gokturk age, shovels and plows used in agricultural work were found.
Large irrigation channels have been found in many valleys, mostly around Altai. For example, the length of the Tötü Canal was around 10 km. The channel was opened on a very rocky land and the difficult to work rocks were carved to establish the connection between the two valleys. In addition, a water distribution network was established in connection with this canal. This waterway, which is reported to be still used by the Russians, is based on a really high technical knowledge. In these steppes (Tötü) lands, agriculture has been done since ancient times, and the Tötü Canal dates back to BC. It is estimated that it was built at the beginning of the first century (Ögel, 1984).
The Kyrgyz lived in Southern Siberia, on the shores of the Lower Yenisei in the Gokturk Age. Coinciding with today's Abakan Steppes and Minusinsk Region, these regions were very suitable for agriculture. The Kem River, coming out of the mountains in the Orkhon and Selenga Region and flowing into the Yenisey River, provided the contact of this region with the Göktürks. Sickle, shovel and pointed shovel had a great place in Yenisey-Kyrgyz Agricultural Culture. The ploughshares were fixed on the plough by means of two nails.
It is known that the people of this region have been agro.horsemen since ancient times. The Kyrgyz grain varieties were barley, wheat, oats and millet, and they were grinding the wheat with a foot mill, which is not fully known today. Besides the abundance of grain products, fruit and vegetables were not available at all. More fermented drinks were drunk with meals. Their weddings were magnificent, sometimes as many as a thousand sheep were given as gifts. Trade relations between the Kyrgyz and the Chinese were also at a very good level. Coins found in China and Kyrgyz (544 AD) prove this (Ögel, 1984).
There is a Turkish tribe that spread from the banks of the Orhun and Selenga Rivers to the edges of the Aral Lake and is known by various names, starting from the Great Hun State. These tribes, which were named Töles, then Dokuz Oğuz and kept themselves apart from other Turkish tribes, would later establish the Uyghur State and would have an important place in Turkish History. The Dokuz Oğuz, who founded the Uyghur State in 744, with its center on the shores of Orhon, lived in this region until 840 AD (Ögel, 1984).
The Uyghurs, whose founder was Alp Kutlug Bilge Kagan, had replaced the Gokturks and their state center was the city of Karabalgasun in the Ötüken plateau (Aslanapa, 1984). After the Uighurs in the Orkhon Region were destroyed by the Kyrgyz in 840, they left their old homeland and went south. Some of the Uyghurs who descended to the south came to the Turfan Region and settled in the city of Kao-ch'ang (Izgi, 1975). The Uyghurs, who established a new state in the south in AD 840 and settled in the city of Kao-ch'ang, which has an important place in Central Asian Turkish History, were now different from the Steppe Turkish State. They did not enter into major political conflicts and preferred to continue their friendship and commercial relations with their neighbors, especially the Chinese Governments.
They chose Mengli Kagan (Alp Külük Bilge Kagan) as their Khan and made the city of Kaoch'ang (Hoço) their capital. In 1206, they were subject to the Kara Hitay State, and in 1209 to Genghis Khan. The Uyghurs are built on the cultural heritage of the Huns and Gokturks that were established before them. Since they settled down, they left documents written on paper instead of written on stone.
These results had very important consequences for the old Turkish cultural life. For this reason, the Uyghurs preserved their culture for a very long time both during the period they lived as a state and after their collapse in terms of Central Asian Turkish Cultural History. The Uyghur Period is the transition period from a nomadic equestrian lifestyle to a sedentary lifestyle. In this transition period, while they were influenced by the Chinese and Indian civilizations, they melted it in their own culture in their own way. The steppe and horse nomadic characteristics were shaped within the urban culture.
The caravan routes passing through the Uyghur cities provided the opportunity to meet with the East-West Civilizations in the future. Chinese ambassador Wang Yen-Te visited the Uyghur State on June 5 - July 4, 981 and noted many of his observations during his trip. In these notes, it is emphasized that people use precious silk fabrics for dressing, and gold and silver items are among the kitchen utensils.
Elçi said, “They used to drink kumiss and get drunk by drinking it. The Uyghurs had many herds of sheep, as a tradition, the Kitans used to graze the Uighurs' sheep and the Tatars their cattle”. “The climate of Kao-ch'ang (Hocho) city was very hot, with no rain or snow. Coming from the Chingling Mountains, the river circulates around the capital, irrigating fields and orchards, and operating windmills. Hemp, wheat, millet, legumes and rice are grown here. Sweet buckwheat alone would not grow. Rich people eat horse meat, others eat beef and wild goose.
There are no poor people in this land. They donate food to poor people in need. Humans are long-lived and live to over a hundred years old. It was not possible to find a person who died at a young age” (İzgi, 1989).
When the Chinese Ambassador came to Beşbalık, Arslan Han had prepared horse and mutton meat for the ambassador to eat. The ambassador said, “The meat was delicious, horses abound in this land. Each of the kings, princes, and heirs had herds of horses. There were eagles and hawks, falcons and vultures on this plain.” says. Arslan Han received the ambassador on the seventh day and gave the gifts sent by the Chinese Emperor. After that, music was heard, drinks and banquets were given, and plays were played by the performers until midnight.
In another section where he describes his views, the ambassador gives the following information: “Weak and neglected horses are used for food by the Uyghurs, and its value was only equal to three meters of silk cloth. While everyone in the country ate meat, including the poor, in China only the rich consumed meat.” says. During this period, there was a very close commercial relationship between the Uyghurs and the Chinese. Mostly, the Uyghurs gave horses to the Chinese and bought silk cloth in return (İzgi, 1989).
Turkish states would sell live animals, mainly horses, canned meat, leather, leather, fur, animal products to neighboring countries, and they would buy cereals and clothing in return. with Asian Huns, Göktürks, Uyghurs, and China; The Western Huns also made trade agreements with Byzantium. Rice, silk, silk fabric, cereals from China to the Turks; Other necessities would come from Rome and Byzantium, and the Turks would make up for their deficiencies. Connecting the north to the south and the east to the west, the European Hun Empire brought vitality to world trade activities thanks to its mighty organization (Kafesoğlu, 1997).
The first food of the Turks, who lived a nomadic life in these periods, was also animal food. Since the beginning of their history, livestock has been the most important and sometimes the only economic resource (Ögel, 1982: 15). That's why they always followed the waters and settled in the wetlands and areas with plenty of pasture. At this time, agriculture also developed gradually, and besides dairy and meat products, cereals and vegetables became an integral part of their diet.
In the ancient Turks, sheep came first, followed by goats and cattle, respectively. These animals were also kept for milk production. The mare was also used for milk production. In addition to the meat of the slaughtered animal, liver, head, spleen, heart, kidneys, rumen, brain and large intestine were also used. The meat and offal of the animal were cooked in an earthen well called “tandoor” or by turning over a fire. In addition, animal meat slaughtered in the autumn was cut into small pieces and cooked with its fat, then filled into cubes and stored for the winter.
This practice, called roasting, is still practiced today, especially in villages. Another storage method of meat is drying by salting and seasoning. Foods such as pastrami and sausage have been made with this technique since ancient times. The bony part of the meat was salted and hung on trees. This practice is still continued in some villages (Baysal, 2002: 31). Horse and mutton were also among the most important and beloved foodstuffs exported to China. The Turks, who first discovered meat canning, also taught the Chinese to eat oil (Kafesoğlu and Öztuna, 1977).
Cereals, especially wheat, formed the second basis of their economy, and bread became their favorite food and became sacred. From milk they made products such as powdered milk and skim cheese, and various drinks. Made from mare's milk and a national drink for centuries, kumiss was kept in overalls made of animal skin. Yogurt made from milk was eaten fresh or stored for the winter by drying. Butter was obtained by adding warm water to yogurt and spreading it in overalls made of animal skin (Baysal, 2002: 32).
It is known that Turks, especially some Oghuzs, prefer settled life and engage in agriculture and fishing. Since nomadism is essential in the life of the Turks, the nomadic Oghuzs condemned the settled Oghuz as "Yatuk" (lazy). However, since these Yatuks lived in certain places, they developed a settled life among the Oghuzs (Baykara, 1975).
Agriculture is a subject closely related to settled life, even if it is not directly related to city life. Because farming in a place means staying in that area for a certain period of time. Preparing the soil, planting the seed, watering and harvesting are tasks that take months. Therefore, it can be said that there is a relationship between agriculture and the city, since the making of agriculture in a region is considered a clear sign of settled life. The definitive proof of the existence of agriculture among the Turks is BC. They are tools called “Crushed Stone” that appeared in the kurgans since the middle of the 1st century.
Such crushed stones are also used in Anatolia today for crushing poppy or salt. Grinding stones were used to crush the grains of cultivated plants, not the seeds of wild plants. Although the general economic characteristics of the Turks are animal husbandry, the fact that some plants are necessary for animals, especially horses, caused the Turks to grow these plants. In this respect, both material remains (crushed stone) and other evidence (traces of irrigation canals) indicate that agriculture has been practiced among Turks since ancient times (Baykara, 1975).
It is known that grain farming has been practiced in the Turks since ancient times. The most important grains cultivated were wheat, barley, millet, vetch, sesame and rice. From the information given by Mahmut from Kaşgar, it is understood that wheat was called "tarig" by various Turkish communities and "ashlık" by the Oghuzs (Atalay, 1992a). The term wheat is also seen in Divanü Lugat-it Türk and it was written in XI. It is understood that the Turks of the 19th century also knew the word wheat. Barley was also known by the same name.
Split and bulgur XI. It was the food of the Turks living in the century and earlier. Yarma and bulgur were called “yarmaş” and fine flour was called “yarmaş flour” (Atalay, 1992b). Grain grains and seeds were called “urug”, and wheat stored for seed was called “uruglug” (Atalay, 1992a).
In the old Turks, meeting the food and drink needs of the people was the primary duty of the Turkish khans. Since the poor, orphans, sick, widowed-orphans, disabled people could not work, they had difficulty in meeting their basic needs such as food, shelter and clothing. For this reason, the former Turkish states gave great importance to social solidarity and cooperation. The herds of the old Turkish families, who had a nomadic lifestyle, were able to meet all their needs themselves because they had fields that they could irrigate and plant. There was also a large audience of artists.
The state helped the powerless people who could not work among the Uyghur Turks (Ögel, 1979). Oghuz Turks were eating on a leather mat that was called “kendürük” in Central Asia (Halıcı 1999). In the eleventh century, some Turkish tribes put “tergi” on the table; starting from this word, they used to say “tergi urmak” to set the table or “tergi uruldi” meaning the table was set. They used to call the big footless table set up for the inns in the palaces as “İşküm” (Atalay, 1992a). Some Turkish tribes, on the other hand, used the word "tepsi (tewsi)" to mean both "tray" and "table" as it is today.
Considering that large trays (or trays) are used as tableware in some of our regions today, it is understood that the same practice has existed for a long time (Kafesoğlu, 1992). One of the most distinctive features of the Turks is their hospitality. Hospitality was extremely important not only for community life or individuals-families, but also for political life. Turkish tradition requires the guest to be respected, to make him comfortable, to feed him even if he does not eat it himself. Being a social event that strengthens family and kinship ties, hospitality was an indispensable social movement especially for the state (Köymen, 1982;45).
In the old Turks, a feast was given on the day the relative who came from afar would go. Other relatives were also invited to this meal, and this meal, which was eaten together, was called "empty ashığ", meaning a leave meal. Various gifts were given to the relatives after the meal. The guests who came to the house would also bring gifts to the host, and this was called belek. The word "blank ashug" was later used for the table placed under the food tray (Atalay, 1992a).
Yusuf Has Hacib in Kutadgu Bilig, XI. He talks about six kinds of meals as the types of feasts of the century and clearly expresses the opinion that these feasts should be attended. These meals are; wedding meal (küdenke aş), circumcision meal (circumcision vaccine), name, san alma meal (horse vaccine), birth meal (togum vaccine), friend meal (colleague vaccine), dead meal (yog=yuğ vaccine) .
“Friend, brother, far and near, honor everyone and invite them to dinner.” He states that the food and beverages served at the banquets must be eaten within the framework of etiquette and says, “Go to them, do not break their hearts; make them happy and rejoice yourself, O son. If they hold a feast for you, go to that feast too; Satisfy them by eating their food. If gentlemen invite you to dinner; eat the food with decency” (Arat, 1991).
Yusuf Has Hacib regarding the food of the dead; “For his son, Ay-Toldi, death inoculated; distributed silver and silk fabrics to the poor.” says (Arat, 1991). The dead meal called yuğaş, which is also seen in the Orkhon Monuments, draws attention as the first mass meal. In the eleventh century, there is a table called “kenç liyu”, which is prepared in feasts and weddings of inns; This table was decorated with food, like a minaret thirty cubits high, and the people looted these foods (Halıcı, 1999).
In the old Turks, it was an old custom for the sultans to give a general meal (toy) to the statesmen and the public and to loot items such as plates and spoons at the end of these banquets. As stated in the Orkhon Inscriptions, feeding their people was among the most important duties of the Turkish rulers (Kafesoğlu, 1992).
As for the preparation of the table, XI. It is seen that the table preparation in the dinner or dinner party in the 19th century Turkish house is not different from today (Genç, 1982;58). Yusuf Has Hacib offers some suggestions to the host who is having a feast. “Your house, table and plates should be clean, your room should be furnished with cushions, and your food and drinks should be distinguished.
In order for guests to eat with desire, food and drinks must be clean and delicious. Prepare food and drink as well and cleanly as possible so that all guests leave the table full. Beware, grow food and drink for everyone; if anyone is late, do not leave him without food; As soon as one is finished, let the other be present. Drinks should be available at the place where food is eaten; food and drink must be equal. If the drink is not ready with the meal, that meal becomes poison for those who eat it. Give me fuka (barley water), mizab (table water), or cülengbin (rose honey=jam) or cülab (rose sherbet) sherbet.
When food and drink is complete, give snacks and fruit; In addition to dry and fresh fruit, there should be some semolina (food for fattening). Give a gift; if you can afford it, give me silk cloth; If possible, give dental rent so that the mouths of those who come will be closed. So this banquet business is done, open the doors; If the guests want to go, do not hinder them any longer.” says (Arat, 1991).
In the past, it is known that gifts were given to the guests after the meal, called tooth rent (tea sweat). In Ottoman palaces and mansions, XI. In the 19th century, the tradition of dental rent mentioned in Kutadgu Bilig continued. It is known that in old Istanbul, gold coins the size of chickpeas were made and served in pilaf (golden chickpea rice) (Halıcı, 1999).
It is seen that the rules of eating during feasts and feasts in the eleventh century are the same as today's table culture. At the traditional Turkish table, there is no habit of eating by hand, the little ones do not reach out before the adults start eating, and the etiquette rules such as everyone eats in front of them are valid today.
Yusuf Has Hacib, in the section where he explains the etiquette that should be followed at the dinner banquets; “After you start eating bigger than you, reach out your hand; Look, that's the way it is. Extend your right hand to the food with basmala, do not touch the bites in front of others. Take whatever is in front of you and eat it. Knife removal and deboning at the table; Don't be too gluttonous and not too lazy. No matter how full you are, one should not refuse the food offered.
When you take the food, bite it and chew it little by little; blowing hot food with your mouth. Creeping on the table while eating; Don't disturb people's peace, watch your movement. Reach for the food, eat it with pleasure and desire; May the housewife be pleased to see you. If one takes trouble and prepares a feast for you, do not waste it; don't upset her.” transfers his words to today (Arat, 1991).
Seljuk and Ottoman Periods
XII. Seljuk Turks came to Anatolia. Turkish cuisine, which started to be formed after the XIV. and XV. Developed in the century, XVI. and
XVII. It has taken its place among the few cuisines of the world by developing through specialization in palaces and mansions during the Ottoman period in the centuries.
XI. and XII. After the 19th century, religious institutions became an integral part of social life, and soup kitchens and lodges became public kitchens (Sürücüoğlu and Özçelik, 2005;12).
In this century, “I was raw, cooked, burned.” Mevlana, who says, started the matter and meaning education of his first disciples in the kitchen (Halıcı, 1982). In this period, the sanctity of the kitchen, hearth and food was given great importance. These religious institutions had a great influence on Turkish cuisine. During the Seljuk period, Turkish cuisine gained more importance and a unique cuisine culture emerged.
The names of many dishes cooked during the Seljuk period have survived until today. Examples of these are trotters, pide with meat, phyllo, tutac, höşmerim, boza, molasses, sausage, pastrami. In addition to the palace cuisine, a public cuisine has also been developed since the Seljuks (Sürücüoğlu and Özçelik, 2005; 12). Meals were eaten with a single bowl and spoon in the Seljuks. During the meal service, there were pans, copper or china bowls, trays and jugs (Taneri, 1977). When the Anatolian Seljuk Sultan, Alaaddin Keykubat I, came to Konya for the first time as a ruler, festivities and ceremonies were held.
In these ceremonies, great feasts were given and drinking tables were set. Meals and beverages given at banquets; grain (rice), zerde, kalyes, boranis, halvah, stews, wine, ayran, kumiss and various sherbets. Meals were served on tile and gold plates, on trays (Oral, 1957).
During the Seljuk period, the milk of the same name and food items such as yogurt, cheese, cream and oil made from it occupied a large place in the Turkish diet. Just as milk and mouth were drank, foods such as yoghurt, cheese, ice cream, and oil were also eaten abundantly. In particular, oil was a sought-after nutrient and was most often eaten by spreading on bread, sometimes by melting it and dipping it into bread.
There was no oil-free meal as it is now. Honey and eggs were also among the foodstuffs that were eaten with pleasure. Meat had a great place in the diet of the Turks. Meat-eating animals, according to the degree of importance; lamb, sheep, goat, goat, kid, horse, chicken, bird and fish. During the Seljuk period, the most loved meat of the Turks was horse and goat meat. Because it is said that horse meat smells like musk. The Turks also loved the fat that came out of the horse's belly. The proverb "Erkec meat becomes medicine, goat meat becomes wind" can be counted as proof of how appreciated the meat of goats is (Köymen, 1982: 36).
Wheat comes first among agricultural nutrients. Like meat and milk, wheat plays a huge role in the Turkish diet. Wheat, as it is now, was pounded after being ironed in the flame before the grains in the ears hardened during the Seljuk period; Ripe wheat, on the other hand, was fried and eaten in winter. Apart from these, wheat was used as an ingredient in various dishes before it was turned into flour, and in the meantime, it was subjected to some external changes.
For example, cracked wheat called “yar.maş” or bulgur was made from wheat. Wheat was mixed with other foods by boiling or cooking without any change and was eaten as a meal. For example, boiled wheat was kneaded with barley dough, wrapped in a felt and left in a warm place, and then eaten after melting. Again, wheat is cooked and almonds are thrown into it; Cooked slurry with honey was poured on it, after it was soured, the wheat was eaten and the water was drunk. Apart from these, various drinks and boza were made from wheat.
Wheat and barley were also washed, dried and ground into flour in the Seljuk Period. Flour was placed in cubes and cups. Before the flour was kneaded, it was sifted as it is today (Köymen, 1982: 37).
In the thirteenth century, many vegetables and fruits were grown in vineyards and gardens in Anatolia. A large number of vegetables and fruits found in the kitchens today are also seen at that time. Mevlana; It mentions leek, cress, lettuce, celery (Izbudak, 1991a), radish (Izbudak, 1991b), zucchini (Izbudak, 1991c). Vegetables such as onions and garlic were also grown in the gardens of the Seljuk Turks.
Each of these vegetables was planted separately (in the form of evlek) in the gardens reserved for them. In some couplets in the fourth volume of the Mesnevi; “There is a separate home for each of the vegetables such as onions, garlic, etc. in the garden. Each of them is of his own kind, in his own marriage, he is fed from the humidity there in order to grow up and stay there”.
Again in the same volume and the following couplets; “You are a saffron home, be saffron, do not mix with other vegetables and compromise. Get your food from meat, saffron, water, go to the land. It is said that entering the turnip house and opening his mouth, and having the same nature with him” (İzbudak, 1991d). Vine leaves are also among the vegetables mentioned in the couplets. “Every night he would eat the end of the twig of grapes, he would have fast-breaking with it, he was in this state for seven years”.
“I ate vine leaves in the deserts and got along with it.” There are verses such as (İzbudak, 1991b).
The Turkish cuisine, which developed even more during the Ottoman period, was planned in such a way that there would be no hungry people in the country with its rich varieties. In the foundation soup kitchens, everyone, especially the poor, the poor and the passengers, could eat free of charge (Sürücüoğlu, 1986: 117).
Meat, milk, yoghurt, cheese and oil from animal foods were the basis of the nutrition system in this period. Parallel to the development and growth of the Ottoman Empire, Ottoman cuisine also showed a great improvement, and gathering of the palace dignitaries around a table became one of the greatest social movements of the period.
For this reason, very rich and delicious food types were revealed that show all the creativity and skills of the cooks (Sürücüoğlu, 1999: 49). Sultans and statesmen, foreign guests and ambassadors, have developed various recipes for their cooks in order to feed the guests coming to the palace and give a feast. In palaces and mansions, cooks were considered to be among the most beloved people of the day. French statesmen made a request to the sultan to detain the cooks that Sultan Abdulaziz took with him during his visit to Paris (Kumbaracılar, 1969).
They also added the culinary culture of each new region they conquered to their own cuisines during their rising period (Gülal and Korzay, 1987). The Ottoman palace and especially the cuisine of Istanbul became richer during the rise of the empire and in the XVIII. and XIX. It reached its peak in the 19th century (Ünsal, 1996). Until Mehmet the Conqueror, all the sultans had dinner with others. The sultans who came after Fatih, on the other hand, ate alone.
This method lasted until the reign of Sultan Abdulaziz (1861-1876); for the first time, Abdulaziz, Crown Prince of England VII. He sat at the table with Edward and his relatives (Vardarlı, 1981). After Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror took Istanbul and settled in Topkapı Palace, he determined the ceremony, that is, the food protocol and food etiquette in today's language. Therefore, the kitchen occupied an important place in the life of the palace.
Every day in the Topkapı Palace, about 1500-2000 people were served for the servants, janissary guards, members of the council and officials, the sultan and his family, twice or three times as much on holidays and some special days (Ünsal, 1996). The leftover meals from the sultans were sent to their bridesmaids, mostly to the princes. Sultan III. Murat (1574-1595) had many children. Most of the children were three or four years old.
After the delicious meals were served to the sultan every day, the leftovers were placed on thirty big trays and sent to the Harem-i Hümayun with four bowls of compote each. Separate tables were set for each (Vardarlı, 1981).
The reception ceremonies given to the foreign ambassadors in the palaces and the banquets given in the divan follow almost the same protocol. The dishes brought by the palace officials with silver trays were placed on low tables and eaten in small groups by sitting on the ground.
The information given by foreign ambassadors and travelers on this subject and Ottoman sources show that there is an extremely rich food culture, traditions and practices in Turkish society. In addition, weddings, navies and festivals are among the brightest leaves of Ottoman history. These weddings; It is a cultural heritage with its ceremonies, guests, gifts, shows, and the food that is eaten and served (Sürücüoğlu, 1999: 50).
Starting with the conquest of Istanbul and XIX. In the tradition of the Ottoman Palace Culinary Culture, which developed until the end of the century, there are kebabs, stews, cutlets, roasts and meatballs prepared with lamb and mutton, many types of rice pilaf, soups cooked with broth based on grains and legumes.
In addition, compotes prepared with fresh and dried fruits, sherbet, syrup, jam, pastry varieties, stuffed meat, some pot dishes prepared with vegetables, kebabs prepared with chicken and fish, stew and cutlets, halva varieties, milk desserts, baklava, gullaç and Dishes such as kadayif take place in Ottoman cuisine.
Meals are always cooked with clarified butter, that is, unsalted butter. The use of spices is quite common, though not as common in medieval European or Indian cuisine. The use of dried and fresh fruits, which were more common in the early period Ottoman palace cuisine, as a spice in meat and rice XIX. century culinary tradition has decreased. Veal is not preferred among meat varieties, lamb is used in season, mutton is used at other times.
In addition to poultry such as chicken and chicken, pigeon, partridge, goose, quail, duck, XVIII. Since the 19th century, turkey of American origin is among the privileged tastes offered to rich tables in the palace cuisine tradition. Fish is one of the delicacies consumed by the sultan and his surroundings in the Ottoman palace cuisine.
Tomatoes and tomato paste do not exist in the Ottoman culinary tradition and in the XIX. entered after the second half of the century. The use of tomato and tomato paste, which is used lovingly in Turkish cuisine, is in the XX. coincides with the turn of the century. In the past, pot dishes were flavored with verjuice, lemon juice, pomegranate syrup and, of course, onions and various spices.
In the palace kitchens, rice instead of bulgur consumed by ordinary people, sugar instead of honey-molasses, brown bread and white leavened bread instead of phyllo dough were consumed. Tomato, beans, potatoes, turkey, cocoa, corn, some pumpkin varieties after the discovery of the American continent, that is, XV. century after XVIII. and
XIX. centuries, it entered the Ottoman cuisine (Samancı, 2007).
While the westernization movement strengthened in the country after the Tanzimat, meals. During the reign of Abdulhamid, it was started to be eaten on separate plates, with separate forks and knives, sitting in a separate room or hall, at a table and chairs, as in Western countries.
Everyone's glass was also different (Ünsal, 1996). Another innovation in the Ottoman palace and XIX. In the menus of the end of the century, French dishes began to be served together with Turkish dishes. During this period, recipes of European origin were published in Ottoman cookbooks. Alafranga flavors have been added to the Turkish culinary tradition over time, often interpreted in a new way and included in the flavor patterns we are accustomed to today (Samancı, 2007).
In the last fifty, sixty years, there have been great changes in the structure of the classical Turkish culinary tradition. The requirements of the industrial society, the emergence and development of the science of nutrition have affected the classical Turkish culinary tradition as well as all over the world.
For example, butter or "clarified butter", which was preferred in the past, was replaced by margarine and then olive oil and other liquid oils; it has replaced the underrated beef, lamb and mutton; white bread, the indicator of wealth, has been replaced by natural village breads. The mentioned culinary tradition continues to live on in a few classic artisan restaurants, the kitchen of mothers and grandmothers, and in old cookbooks.
The younger generation tastes the classical “Turkish cuisine” or in other words “Istanbul cuisine” only from memories and memories (Samancı, 2007). As a result of the development of the food industry in recent years, frozen foods, semi and fully prepared foods have also taken their place in the kitchens.
Turks who came to Anatolia from Central Asia have a rich culture due to their long historical past. Since ancient times, they have been neighbors with many nations, lived together with them, and therefore exchanged food and beverage cultures. This formation has continued for centuries and has been kneaded and shaped by the development of cultural history.
Turkish cuisine was formed on a wide and influential geography stretching from Central Asia to Anatolia, where the Turks took the stage of history. Therefore, the roots of Turkish cuisine go back to Central Asia. Turkish cuisine in Central Asia left its name to Anatolian dishes during the Seljuk period, and later became famous as Ottoman cuisine, Istanbul food, Istanbul cuisine.
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As the head chef Ahmet ÖZDEMİR, I see the source:
Mr. *SÜRÜCÜOĞLU, Metin Saip** ÖZÇELİK, I sincerely thank Ayşe Özfer for their academic studies titled "Historical Development of Turkish Cuisine and Nutrition Culture" and wish them success in their professional life. It will definitely be considered as an example by those who need it in professional kitchens and the gastronomy and culinary community.
The original text, which is accepted as a source, is as follows. Google translation was used for the necessary language change.
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