The Oldest Cuisine of the World: Food Stories from Anatolia

Yunus Emre Institute in London’s new ‘ A Pinch of Anatolia’ Project takes participants on a thirteen thousand historical food journey. 

Starting off the new project with various events that took place between 21-24 October 2019, on 22 October the Institute hosted a supper club at Laz@Camden Restaurant with distinguished chef Ömür Akkor who prepared a rich tasting menu and master bread baker Şevki Dilmaç who baked the breads to accompany the dishes.

Whilst food was being served, Turkish Cuisine History Researcher and Chef Ömür Akkor engaged guests with interesting facts and stories from the Hittite, Seljuk and Ottoman Empire food culture and the different dishes made in the periods.

Amongst the dishes prepared by Ömür Akkor were Keskek which is understood to be the world first dish, Bread made from Siyez flour, Olive oil and honey which was considered food of the Gods according to Hittite customs, a different Hittite dish Hapena, starter Ali Nazik, Humus and Firik Rice, and lastly a five hundred year old dessert Mud Heaven and Helva-yi Hakani a second dessert that was served in the Edirne Palace during the Ottoman Empire.

Guests highly enjoyed listening to the dishes which were cooked and prepared using traditional ingredients which showcase the treasures of the Anatolian cuisine and the deep and rich culture.

UK based chefs, gourmets, food bloggers and editors of predominant newspapers were amongst the attended of this event which served incredible dishes.

During the event, Yunus Emre Institute in London Director Dr. Mehmet Karakuş spoke about the ‘A pinch of Anatolia’ Project and informed the listeners about the Institutes events itinerary.

On the second day of the event, chef Ömür Akkor spoke to a large audience at the prestigious Kings College University of London as part of his talk titled “The Oldest cuisine of the World: Food Stories from Anatolia”.  The talk highlighted the transition stories of food dishes from the Hittites to the present.

The highly popular event was attended by 350 people, and each were gifted a slice of bread made from the Siyez flour to enjoy for breakfast next morning with Olive Oil and Honey.