Quirky Turkey 1. Funny Food and Dire Drinks
Turkey is famous for its beautiful handmade ice cream and a great favourite of my eldest granddaughter is Mastic (or chewing gum) flavoured ice cream. Oddly enough, it is also a flavour/type of chewing gum too.
Salgam suyu. Purple carrot fermented juice drink, very healthy, luscious lustrous colour but oh dear, definitely an acquired taste. Made with turnip, purple carrot, a beet, pickling salt, water and even some bread, once made it is left for at least 15 days to ferment and then the bread is removed as this was just for the fermenting process and the liquid can be bottled and popped in the fridge.
Koc yumurtasi What can I say, boiled, baked, battered, fried or just grilled, the personal spherical parts of ram, it seems make a lunchtime dish, or even a kebab.
From the Black Sea area, is a household favourite, black pepper baklava, just like the standard homemade perfection (if made by my mother in law) but with a nice grinding of black pepper. The sugar and the black pepper go really well together. Not so good for the waistline though.
Another Black Sea special, is hamsi ekmek, a corn bread baked with anchovies, onion and herbs and served at more or less anytime with a nice glass of cay.
A More Turkic than Turkish drink from the time of the Huns, is Kimiz (also known as Kumiss) a boozy beverage mainly made from Mares Milk and sometimes even Camels Milk but in this case mares milk must still be added.
There are three types of this tasty drink, Savmal Kimiz (fresh kumiss) which is the basic and milder, Kara Kimiz (black kumiss) which is the most mature and strongest type and most likely to get you somewhat drunk and Erek Kimiz which is the medium one, being a mix of the mildest and strongest drinks.
Savmal being the weakest is mainly reserved for women, children and the elderly, Erek for the middle aged and more feeble men and good old Kara Kimiz is for the younger stronger men. After a couple of glasses of this, it is said to take your worries away, (temporarily of course) a good old drink gives a good night’s sleep and pleasant dreams to leave you to wake up, refreshed and strengthened. Not only will it calm you down but there are many health benefits given for this drink to include it being helpful for conditions such as tb, malaria and nervous ailments.
There are Turkic Kimiz Festivals held even now.
How about some Sour neck, (Gerdan Eksilisi) or sour fish, when having a boozy night, popular with the Black Sea area, sour neck is made from the neck of lamb, boiled and then finished with garlic, parsley and onion along with a hefty dose of vinegar. The fish is also prepared in the same way.
Why are there not many budgies in Mus? Because their millet (not the budgies) is used to make soup, Gebol corbasi is a speciality of the area and makes a yoghurty millety delightful soup.
Bacakli corba, literally translated as leg soup. Odd name as no legs in it, just green lentils, onions, tomato puree, cumin, pepper and eriste (small pasta strips that Ohhhh resemble legs when cooked)