Tastes Of The Black Sea

Vedat Başaran Serkan Eldeleklioğlu August 2013

BLACK SEA CUISINE CONTINUES TO BE ONE OF THE RARE CUISINES THAT STILL PRESERVE THEIR UNIQUE CHARACTERISTICS.

Karadeniz Lezzetleri

The climatic and geographical characteristics of the Black Sea ensured that it developed a nutritional system unique unto itself, influenced by almost no other culinary culture. But in this region, which spreads over a broad expanse, the cuisines of the coastal strip and the mountainous hinterland exhibit distinct differences.

Thanks to the temperature and composition of its waters, the Black Sea is home to some of the world’s most flavorful fish. Besides the quintessential anchovy, migratory species such as blue fish and tunny also have a place in the regional cuisine. And of course kale, aka black cabbage, is one of the best known and loved symbols of Black Sea cooking. Braised, wrapped around a rice filling, used in soups and cooked in numerous other ways, kale makes a frequent appearance on the dining table. Dishes made with pickled vegetables, corn, butter, a variety of cheeses, and braised meats are the staples that characterize this cuisine. Breads and pastries meanwhile grace the table morning and evening throughout Ramadan, when the famous Black Sea ‘pide’ flatbreads are ubiquitous. Pide is made all over Turkey, but the best is that made in the Black Sea region with cheese, butter and braised meat. 


NETTLE “KUYMAK”

INGREDIENTS
300 g (one bunch) nettles
2 1/2 cup milk
1 cup corn flour
200 ml cream
3 cloves of garlic, pressed
Salt

PREPARATION
Wash and chop the nettles, Place in a pan and cook briefly in their own juices until wilted. Slowly add the milk and cream, stirring with a wooden spoon. Continue cooking and stirring and slowly add the corn flour.  Then add the garlic and salt. When firm, remove to a serving platter and serve piping hot.


ANCHOVY OMELETTE

INGREDIENTS
6 eggs
Several anchovy filets, boned
3 cups flour
3 cups milk
1/2 bunch flat leaf parsley
2 tbsp butter
Pinch of salt

PREPARATION
Break the eggs into a small bowl. Add the milk and flour and beat slowly. Add the salt and chopped parsley and continue beating. Brown the butter lightly in a skillet and add first the anchovies, then the milk and flour mixture. Cook for 3-4 minutes, then turn and cook the other side.   


FRIED PEPPERS WITH EGGS

INGREDIENTS
2 red peppers
2 green peppers
2 Charleston peppers
2 eggs
50 g Kasher or white (feta) cheese
2 tsp butter

PREPARATION
Wash and trim the peppers and brown in butter. Add the grated cheese and break the eggs over the top. When the eggs are cooked, remove from the heat and serve piping hot.   


BLACK SEA WHITE BEANS

INGREDIENTS
400 g small, white “ispir”
sugar beans (dried)
250 veal meat, cubed
1 onion
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp pepper paste
2 tbsp butter
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp sugar
Salt to taste

PREPARATION
Soak the beans in water for 5 hours and drain. Saute the meat in oil with the onions. When it is tender, add the tomato and pepper paste and saute a little longer. Add 2 liters of water and let simmer for 45 minutes. Then add the spices and salt and let simmer over low heat for 10 minutes. Serve piping hot.