Somer Sivrioglu and David Dale’s Anatolia presents Turkish cuisine in a way that challenges “old theories about Turkish cooking and creat[es] a few new ones.”
Anatolia, from the ancient term for the geographical area now known as Turkey, introduces Western cooks to a cuisine that is not only more than 5,000 years old, but that is adaptable to modern eating habits. The book is organized as if one were eating through the day, beginning with breakfast, because in the “far east of Anatolia … they love a big breakfast banquet.” A forty-one-course menu follows that would make even the most seasoned gastronome blush, before the book moves on to lunch and works its way through afternoon tea, meze, and dinner, awash with recipes that will inspire a desire to pour a glass of Raki, fire up the oven, and cook foods that come from the traditionally understood location of the Garden of Eden.
The first part of the book is a primer of Turkish cooking that includes a brief history of Turkish food, explanations of the nation’s food regions, an essential pantry list, techniques, a glossary of important terms, and coverage of the region’s wines. Inviting, crisp photographs—of an older man dragging his rowboat onto a pebbled lakeshore in the village of Türkbükü; of a bright blue door welcoming a visitor into an ancient home; of a plate of lemon syrup-soaked Tulumba glistening in the morning sun—bring the vibrant culture to life.
Dishes like Grape Leather Stuffed with Walnuts are modern takes on classic dishes, while traditional recipes for Mother and Daughter (a Dumpling and Chickpea Stew) and Sheep’s Head Soup are included “to help you sober up at 4 am.” Anatolia: Adventures in Turkish Eating will be a welcome addition to any cook’s library.
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