The breadth and history of Turkish food goes far beyond baklava and Turkish coffee. The Anatolian peninsula is rich in verdant landscapes and is a highly productive piece of land that continues to supply much of the world with fruits, vegetables, nuts, oils, honey, etc. However, in modern food trends, Turkish food often gets left behind.
But that is all changing - there is a movement called, the “New Anatolian Kitchen” that desires to elevate and recognize the bounty of this land. Perhaps you may know some of the leading chefs: Mehmet Gürs, Cihan Çetinkaya,
The idea of the “New Anatolian Kitchen" is to glorify the exemplary products that come from the land. People groups, immigrants and refugees are essential to the history of the peninsula. Anatolian cuisine is not constrained by ethnic limitations but rather seeks to bring awareness to the land and the cultivation of it. As Musa Dağdeviren says, “Food has no ethnicity, only geography” and this ideology recognizes the fluidity of food identity over time.
Cemre Narin’s (food editor for Condé Nast/Turkiye Vogue) essay about the work of food anthropologist, Tangör Tan, found in the book, You and I Eat the Same, is a beautifully written essay about the need to include the people of the land in the modern representation of Turkish food. Small, agricultural villages are the beating heart of Anatolian cuisine and Narin's words bring awareness to the noble efforts of the “New Anatolian Kitchen” movement to research, learn and discover the food culture of the region. Tan spends his time traveling the country in his car to sample and taste the products of the land. He is documenting the recipes and collecting data that has previously been isolated and forgotten.
The famous gastronome, Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, once said, "tell me what you eat, and I will tell you what you are." Because of these leading chefs, Anatolian cuisine is being studied and researched which then allows the people and history to be more deeply understood. A beautiful example of gastronomy, the “New Anatolian Kitchen” is gaining steam and developing a pervasive presence around the world.
Still want to learn more?
Do you know what gastronomy means?
Check out Season 5: Episode 2 of Chef’s Table on Netflix.
Dive into the beautiful Turkish food videos on ruhundoysun.com.
Learn more about Mehmet Gürs (Turkish/Swedish chef), here.
Read how Musa Dağdeviren recovers the food that Turkey forgot, here.
Watch an interview with Tangör Tan (Turkish food anthropologist), here.
You must order this book about the connection between people & food!