GAZIANTEP CUISINE FESTIVAL

 

10th TRADITIONAL GAZIANTEP CUISINE FESTIVAL

by Başak Ergil

 The festival took place on 26 September 2010 in Özgürlük Parkı, Kadıköy. Traditionally, this event has always been a unique opportunity to introduce the Gaziantep culinary culture in Istanbul. During this annual event, thousands of people enjoy the Gaziantep food and the folksongs by local singers. Below, you can find basic information about the city as well as photographs of the event…

Basic Info about the City

Gaziantep, commonly called “Antep”, is located in the Southeastern Anatolian Region of Turkey. Due to its vivid and rich demographical history and structure, the city has remarkably colorful cultural mosaics especially reflected in its cuisine. Turkey holds the third place in the world in pistachio production which is mainly done in Antep. “Antep fıstığı” [Antep Nut] is also named after the city.

The Event: 10th Traditional Gaziantep Cuisine Festival

For the last 10 years, the event has been the meeting place of enthusiasts of Antep Cuisine. It is also a time to buy fresh ingredients and rare spices. What brings Antep Cuisine so close to perfectness is probably the different influences its culinary culture has gained due to its location. Besides the traces of the Anatolian culinary habits, the cuisine of the city is also characterized by the influence of the cuisine of Syria, its Southern neighbour.

The most common dishes in Antep Cuisine are kebabs, içli köfte (a fried dish containing minced meat), kahke (various Antep cookies), dolma (stuffed vegetables), helva (a dessert made of sesame seed oil), baklava, gözleme (ingredients such as cheese, potatoes or minced meat stuffed between two layers of thin pastry). Above all spices and ingredients, red pepper and garlic have major importance in Antep cuisine.

Thousands of people poured to Özgürlük Parkı this year, in the burning weather of Istanbul. It is now a tradition to be a part of the crowd, wait in long queues for kebabs, dürüms and baklavas… It sometimes becomes intolerable to be there in that crowd, amongst queues, loud local music, heavy smoke and smell of kebabs that makes vision impossible. It might also be disillusioning to find mass-produced products that are available at any big market in the city. However, I believe this festival is the right place for a good observer who wants to witness the culinary culture of the Southeastern Anatolian Region of Turkey. Needless to say, familiarity with the culinary culture is only a bridge leading to the other cultural aspects prevailing in the region…

Below is a small photo gallery for those who have missed the event:

 

…dozens of local spices…

 

 …dried vegetables…

  … more…

 

 

… local bread… 

…gözleme…

…kâhke (local cookies)…

…fresh ingredients to be made into pickles…

…helva… 

… various kebabs & dürüms…

Photographs by Aylin Akkanat & Başak Ergil

One Response to GAZIANTEP CUISINE FESTIVAL

  1. Didar dedi ki:

    Please tell me when in September is the Gaziantep Pistachio Festival for this year…Thank you

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