Turkish food is addictive. Once you have tried authentic Turkish pilav, kebab, or borek—whether back in your grandma’s kitchen or in a hole-in-the-wall restaurant during your travels—there is no turning back. You keep searching for recipes, trying every restaurant that has a Mediterranean ring to it, or make plans to go back again. You can not get enough of it.
It is hard to describe the Turkish cuisine in one word, since it encompasses many different styles of cooking. For example, dishes that come from the heart of Turkey (the region we call Anatolia) reflect the frugal, peasant lifestyle and are based heavily on grains, bread, and dairy. This cuisine shows creative ways to use almost every part of an animal. On the other end of the spectrum, the Ottoman sultans’ kitchen shows a cuisine that is more lavish, a true indicator of a palace life.
Every region in Turkey has their distinctive cuisine, from the corn, anchovy, and collard greens loaded kitchens of Black Sea to the spicy kebab land of Southeast, to seafood and vegetable-centered Aegean cuisine. The history of the Turks – from their migration out of the Central Asia tundras, to conquering lands throughout the Balkans, Middle East, and North Africa - has shown its traces in the cuisine as well. While passing through the lands, their nomadic cuisine got influenced by the other cultures and they definitely made their effect on others.
Within the boundaries of today’s Turkey, now Turks are enjoying this rich cuisine to the fullest and sharing with the rest of the world in their visits. And Turkish people will be bringing a glimpse of that cuisine to Charlotte this Saturday on October 27th. You can sample kebabs or Turkish meatballs infused by traditional Turkish spices. Side dishes such as bulgur salad (kisir) or bean salad (piyaz) will fill up the rest of your plate. Then while watching the folkloric dances, you should grab a cup of Turkish tea and a plate of baklava or sekerpare. Or, if you dare, have a cup of strong Turkish coffee and let one of the Turkish ladies read your fortune. As she deciphers the secrets revealed in your coffee grounds, she might just see a trip to Turkey in your future!
What: 3rd Annual Turkish Festival
Where: Oasis Shriners Auditorium
When: October 27th, 2012. From 11 am to 5 pm.
For more information, please visit charlotteturks.org