Results tagged “tandir”

Sensitive balls

Smiclikofteplated0001.JPGIt’s not all tea and candy in Turkey of course, and meat is a very important part of the diet for most Turks.  Of course practically no pork - which was a nice change for us after our pork ‘n’ lard fest in central and eastern Europe. 

Beef and lamb are the most common red meats, with beef overtaking lamb, especially in the west, due to the increase of factory farming and hence smaller price tag.  (Lower price in terms of pennies from the customer’s pocket that is, not cost to their health, the cows’ wellbeing or the environment, of course…) 

And there’s plenty of chicken too, but we found those dishes less interesting.  So I'm not writing about them here.  Instead you can find out about 'sensitive balls'...

Flipping gözleme! Hatice's last tandır session

Smgozlemeprodline0001.jpgIt wasn’t until afterwards, when we persuaded Gülcan to translate some of the preceding fast and furious conversation, that we realised just how colourful it had been.  An elderly neighbour had come round to lead us in our gözleme-cooking session over the tandır, and, it turned out, she’d spent the entire time hurling insults of the most explicit kind at anyone and everyone, for no apparent reason.  Really, it was so rude I can’t write one word of it here.  (And there was me thinking she’d been animatedly discussing the fine art of gözleme-making.)  Gülcan’s husband Andus reassured us she’d loved it all really, and was even quite emotional at the end, since it was probably the last time she would ever cook over the traditional tandır oven.

Smsoganlicavechurch0001.JPGWe’d already heard about the tandır earlier in our Turkish travels - it’s a deep clay-lined hole in the ground in which you build the fire.  (We suspect the similarity with the Indian tandoor is not a coincidence.)  But it was not until we reached Cappadocia that we first saw one.  In fact we saw lots - their remains are still clearly visible carved into the floors of the hundreds of cave dwellings dug into the cliffs.  Many date back over a thousand years to Byzantine times. 
Smancienttandir0001.JPG We were intrigued - how long had people been living in caves here, how and what did they cook in them, and why would Hatice, our garrulous elderly neighbour, not be using a tandır any more? 

How fortunate that we were staying with a cook and an anthropologist...



Culinary Anthropologist