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CUISINE This article is prepared by Dr. Nevin HALICI
Introduction Meal Times in Antalya Foods for Special Transitional Periods Foods for Holy Days
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Foods for Special Transitional Periods

In Antalya, traditional applications related to food in the period from birth to death, the most common is surely tarhana soup and the warm butter added palize. They are also the first foods which are given to a woman who has just delivered a baby and water sweetened with sugar is also given to the newborn. The neighbours usually prepare and bring palize1 and helva2 in order to help to increase the milk production of the mother.

In Antalya, they used to hold a party "invitation to salt" for the midwife, for the family members and close friends on the seventh day after the baby's birth. On this occasion, the midwife used to rub the baby's body even the mouth with sugar, honey and salt mixture in order to keep the baby smell nice. At this ceremony, balava, puff pasties and the most delicious dishes were prepared.

When the baby had his/her first tooth, they used to have a ceremony called "dis irgiti". In this ceremony wheat, navy beans, chickpeas were cooked and served with some nuts.

There would be a big celebration and a party when a young boy was circumcised. It was traditional to serve the same kinds of food at the circumcision and as at the wedding.

When the groom's family went to ask for the bride's hand in marriage and at the engagement ceremony, they used to serve sherbet (a kind of sweet drink) with almonds. For the religious wedding ceremonies which were held at home, coffee, Turkish delight and food were served.

At the traditional hamam (Turkish Bath), before the wedding, the Bride's family would provide katmer, borek, and some food, and the groom's family would send kebap or tandir. When the girl displayed her hope chest, they would serve food and nuts.

At the traditional wedding, they would serve "groom's food" which was available in all big wedding ceremonies. The groom's food included;

  • Rice Soup with Egg Sauce
  • Green Beans or Potatoes with Meat
  • Rice with Meat
  • Keskek
  • Semolia Helva or rice Pudding

The week following the wedding, families would pay mutual visits. The most delicious dishes, baklava, and puff pastry being the main part of the menu, would be prepared. The menu might be;

  • Chicken Soup
  • Roasted Meat
  • Green Beans in summer, Navy Beans Stew in winter
  • Rice Pilaf or a Special Puff Pastry made with Boiled Yufka
  • Baklava

In Antalya, when somebody died neighbours and relatives brought food to the deceased person's family for three days. When the person was buried, pide and helva were prepared and distributed to those helping and to those coming to the home for condolences. On the seventh day after the death, they used to have a religious ceremony (mevlit). Turkish delight was served. On the fortieth day recitation of prayers was performed, lokma was prepared. On the fifty second day, they prayed and prepared helva.

1 Palize is a sweet dish with sugar, water and starch.

2 Helva is a sweet dish prepared with semolina, milk/water, sugar and butter.

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XANTHOS
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