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Spices & Herbs in Turkish Cooking. Ancient History of Silk & Spice Routes. Turks Greeks Romans Arabs Romans. Trade between the empires of Asia and Rome. Why were spices popular for trading?. very lucrative improved food & health very popular with the upper classes

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Spices & Herbs in Turkish Cooking

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Spices herbs in turkish cooking l.jpg

Spices & Herbs in Turkish Cooking

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Ancient History of Silk & Spice Routes

  • Turks

  • Greeks

  • Romans

  • Arabs

  • Romans

Trade between the empires of Asia and Rome

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Why were spices popular for trading?

  • very lucrative

  • improved food & health

  • very popular with the upper classes

    • spicy food considered classy, sign of wealth

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Piper nigrum(black & white pepper)

  • Climbing vine native to India and East Indies; in Piperaceae (pepper) family

  • Berries picked green, darken & shrivel upon drying.

  • Biting flavor due to volatile oils, flavor dissipates after grinding.

  • White pepper – berries ripen on vine, outer hull removed.

  • The most widely used spice today.

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Cinnamomum zeylanicum(cinnamon)

  • Parts used- oil & bark

  • Evergreen tree native to India & Sri Lanka; in Laurel family

  • Properties- Astringent, stimulant, anti-infective, anti-fungal, digestive aid

  • One of the oldest and most valuable spices

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Cumin Plant as Herbal Medicine

Extensively used in Turkey for cooking, antioxidant

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Eugenia caryophyllata(clove)

  • Parts Used: closed flower buds

  • Active Compounds:  Clove oil is 60 to 90 percent eugenol, which is the source of its anesthetic and antiseptic properties.

  • An evergreen tree, 15 to 30 feet tall; in Myrtaceae (Myrtle) family

  • Native to the Spice Islands and the Philippines, but also grown in India, Sumatra, Jamaica, the West Indies, Brazil, and other tropical areas.

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Myristica fragans(nutmeg & mace)

  • Part used- dried kernel of the seed.

  • Tree is about 25 feet high, has a greyish-brown smooth bark, abounding in a yellow juice.

  • Native to Spice Islands; Myristicaceae (nutmeg) family

  • Fruit is source of 2 spices, nutmeg & mace.

  • Mace is derived from the net-like aril that is wrapped around the pit.

  • Within the pit is a single seed, the source of nutmeg.

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Zingiber officinale (ginger)

  • Member of “ginger” family

  • Perennial native to tropical Asia

  • Plant part used = Rhizome

  • name from Sanskrit word stringa-vera, which means “with a body like a horn”, as in antlers.

  • In English pubs and taverns in the nineteenth century, bar-keepers put out small containers of ground ginger, for people to sprinkle into their beer — the origin of ginger ale.

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Capsicum species(hot & sweet peppers)

  • Members of tomato family (Solonaceae)

  • Many are cultivars of Capsicum annum

    • E.g., bell pepper & cayenne

  • Four other common species

    • E.g., C. clilense includes habenero and C. fructescens includes tabasco pepper

  • Many varieties

  • Origin = New World; used by 9000 y. ago

  • “Hot” due to seven related alkaloids, including capsaicin (mostly in seeds & fruit)

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16,000,000: Pure capsaicin

100,000-350,000: Habanero

30,000-50,000: Cayenne pepper

5,000-23,000: Serrano pepper

2,500-5,000: Tabasco sauce


1,000-2,000: Poblano pepper

100-500 Pepperoncini pepper

Ca. 0: Sweet Bell pepper

Scoville ratings(for pepper “hotness”)

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Vanilla planifolia (vanilla)

  • flavoring comes from the seed pod, or the ‘bean’ of the vanilla plant

  • member of orchid family (Orchidaceae); perennial vine

  • behind saffron and cardamom, vanilla is 3rd most expensive spice

  • non-culinary uses, including aromatizing perfumes, cigars, & liqueurs

  • Europeans prefer the bean, while N. Americans the extract

  • extract made by percolating alcohol & water through chopped cured beans

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ChamomileMatricaria sp.

  • Better than counting sheep

  • Beat anxiety and insomnia

  • Relieve indigestion

  • Soothe irritated skin

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  • Originated in Asia

  • Ancient Egyptians worshipped the onion, believing that its spherical shape and concentric rings symbolized eternity. Of all the vegetables that had their images created from precious metals by Egyptian artists, only the onion was made out of gold.

  • Ranks sixth among the world's leading vegetable crops.

  • You can get rid of onion breath by eating parsley.

  • Yellow onions make up more than 75% of the worlds production of onions.

  • The official state vegetable of Georgia is the Vidalia onion.

  • The official state vegetable of Texas is the Texas Sweet onion.

  • According to the National Onion Association, onion consumption in the U.S. has increased approximately 50% over the past 20 years.

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  • Onion benefits without tears

  • Help lower blood cholesterol levels

  • Help reduce blood pressure

  • Help prevent certain types of cancer

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Dill (Anethum graveolens)

A tall, self-seeding, with feathery

leaves and open umbrella-shaped

Easily grown from seed

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Oregano (Origanum heracleoticum)

Popular in cooking, and antioxidant

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Thyme (Thymus vulgaris)

Small, moundforming,

shrub-like of

different cultivars

Select either French

or English cultivars

Start from seed,

dividing clumps, or


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  • Culinary, medicinal, and religious use dates back more than 6000 years.

  • Chicago got it's name from the American Indian word for the wild garlic that grew around Lake Michigan - "chicagaoua".

  • California produces more than 250 million pounds of garlic each year. One farm in Monterey County (near Gilroy, "The Garlic Capital of the World") plants 2000 acres of garlic and produces almost 25 million pounds annually.

  • There is an all-garlic restaurant in Stockholm where they offer a garlic cheesecake.

  • There is an all-garlic restaurant in San Francisco where they offer a garlic ice cream. The name of the place is a nickname for garlic...The Stinking Rose!

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‘raw’ garlic

  • Prevent & cure infection

    • 1 clove contains substances equivalent to 100,000 units of penicillin (1/5 avg dose)

  • Help prevent cancer & heart disease

  • Make lean foods taste robust

  • Eat sprig of fresh tarragon for temporary relief of garlic breath or ‘odorless garlic’ in capsules

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ParsleyPetroselinum crispum

  • Related to wild parsnip (Pastinaca sativa) (in the Umbel family, along with carrots, celery, dill, parsnips, fennel, caraway, anise, coriander, cumin, poison hemlock)

  • Has low levels of same toxin as the wild species

  • Many of these look gorgeous in the garden.

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Mint Family (Lamiaceae)

  • Native to Mediterranean region

  • Includes thyme, sages, marjoram, oregano, rosemary, savory, hyssops, basil, the various mints, catnip, and horehound.

  • Common garden mint is spearmint, not peppermint .

  • Square stems & aromatic simple leaves with oil glands.

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 by Zeyda Üstün

4 tomatoes2 cucumbers1 green pepper1 medium sized onionparsley, mint, extra virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar or lemon, salt

Peel and dice the cucumbers and tomatoes, sprinkle some sea salt, add extra virgin olive oil, vinegar or lemon juice and put it in the refrigerator. Cut the onion in half, slice thinly, and cut into smaller pieces. Add onions, diced cucumbers, chopped peppers and parsley to the salad in the refrigerator and stir. Optional You can grate white cheese or feta. If you have warm french bread, I suggest using it to wipe out the delicious sauce of the Çoban salad.

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    • 3 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

    • 2 onions, finely chopped

    • 1 cup red lentils, washed and picked over

    • 2 Tablespoon flour

    • 1 Tablespoon coriander

    • 1 Tablespoon cumin

    • 2 Tablespoon oregano

    • 3/4 Tablespoon black pepper

    • 1/2 Tablespoon salt

    • ½ Teaspoon turmeric

    • 6 cups vegetable or beef stock

    • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes

    • 1 Tablespoon dried dill, crumbled

  • Heat the oil in a large saucepan and saute the onions over low heat until they are golden--about 15 minutes. Stir in the flour, then add lentils. Add stock, and spices. Bring to a boil, and cook until soft and creamy--about an hour.

  • Jan14, 2010

  • Hasan & Jo Ann Tezduyar

  • 859 371 7426

  • [email protected]

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If you are talented you roll very thin sheets from the pieces of your prepared dough. In Turkey they say, for baklava the sheets should so thin that you could read an newspaper below it and a baklava should have 40 layers. For sari burma the sheets can be thicker;)n the side to near you(long side) strew from the chopped walnut sugar mixture in a line. With the very thin (special) rolling pin roll the sheet in a very tight roll. The end of your sheet should be straight. Pinch the roll from both edges. Pull the sheet carefully from the rolling pin. Set it on the baking tray. When your tray is filled you cut your rolls into smaller pieces with a sharp knife. Heat up the butter and the oil together. Sprinkle the rolls with the warm oil. Bake it till it is golden brown at180-200°C.Meanwhile boil sugar, water, and lemon juice. This boils for about 20 minutes till gets syrupy. Cool it and pour it on the sari burmas after baking.Either your syrup or your baklava must be cool!The measures for the ingredients will be written soon. My mother unfortunately has no exact measures. She has a feeling for it.

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