Turkish recipes using Dried foods (3) Collection
stuffed dried vegetables (peppers, aubergines and courgettes) 
peppers in tomato sauce 
stuffed leaves (quince, cherry and bean) 
 
 
[from turkc-l, the turkish culture list] 
 
preserving the tastes of summer: dried foods 
 
by can kiziltan 
 
as summer makes way for autumn in the towns and villages of turkey, 
the task of preparing winter foodstuffs begins. this is a tradition 
that goes back thousands of years. until modern times it was crucial 
for every household to preserve and store sufficient food for the long 
winter months, and neighbours still get together to help one another, 
turning the hard work into an enjoyable social ritual. since large 
quantities are involved, the work is carried out in the sofas (shared 
living area of a house), courtyards and terraces. yufka (large, paper 
thin circles of bread) are rolled out, baked and piled up to the 
ceiling; flour, yoghurt and spices are kneaded into tarhana dough and 
spread on clean sheets in the sun to dry for winter soup; vegetables 
are purchased when they are most plentiful and at their cheapest in 
the markets for making pickles; sheets of pastry are sliced 
rhythmically on wooden tables to make dried noodles, the tapping of 
the knife mingling with the shouts of children playing and the chatter 
of the women. 
 
green peppers, courgettes and aubergines hollowed out ready for 
stuffing and hung on strings to dry adorn the house walls and 
balconies like brightly jewelled necklaces. today, thanks to tinning, 
shock freezing and the spread of greenhouse cultivation, almost every 
type of fruit and vegetable is easily obtainable throughout the year, 
but this has by no means affected the popularity of traditional dried 
foods. on the contrary they have gained in popularity in recent years 
due not only to their distinctive and irreplaceable flavour, but to 
the newly awakening interest in ecological foodstuffs. peppers are 
perhaps foremost among dried foods, and stuffed dried peppers are 
truly delicious. indeed some people enjoy them so much, that they even 
make this dish in the summer. green and red peppers, the latter 
generally hot, are dried separately. the stalks and seeds of the small 
green bell peppers used for stuffing are removed, and then they are 
threaded onto strings and hung in the shade to dry. red peppers on the 
other hand are hung in the sun. 
 
aubergines are similarly topped and hollowed out with a round ended 
knife, threaded on strings and hung in the sun hollow side down. the 
aubergine tops and centres are not thrown away but cut into chunks and 
also spread in the sun to dry, ready to be used in various winter 
dishes known as micirik a$i, ba$ kavurmasi or dograma. courgettes are 
scraped and left to soak in plenty of water, scraped again, cut into 
10-12 centimetre lengths and hollowed out with a special corer. then 
they are sprinkled with salt, threaded on strings and hung up to dry 
in the sun. tomatoes are either made into tomato paste or dried. for 
the latter they are cut into two or four pieces, liberally salted, and 
spread on rush mats in the sun. in the malatya region cherry, quince 
and bean leaves are gathered in april and may, dried and used for 
stuffing. so for a feast of sundried flavours in the winter months, 
try this selection of recipes for turkish dishes made of traditional 
dried vegetables. 
 
* can kiziltan is a freelance writer. 
 
 
(ID: 7193) Mirror: rec.food.recipes: Mon, Jun 28, 2004


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