Monday, December 31, 2007

The History of Coffee by Mark Pendergast

The History of Coffee by Mark Pendergast

Creation Myth (c. 600 CE) Kaldi, an Ethiopian goatherd, is puzzled by his hyperactive goats; they are eating leaves and berries from a strange tree with glossy green leaves. Coffee is discovered. Cultivation soon spreads to Yemen.

c. 900 Arab physician Rhazes first mentions coffee in print, as a medicine.

c. 1400 In elaborate ceremony, Ethiopians roast, grind, and brew coffee beans. Coffee as we know it is born.

1475 Kiva Han, the world's first coffeehouse, is opened in Constantinople.

1511 Khair-Beg, governor of Mecca, bans coffeehouses when seditious verses are written about him there. The ban is reversed by Cairo sultan.

1538 Ottoman Turks occupy Yemen and parboil coffee beans (to render them infertile and maintain their monopoly) and export them from Mocha, hence coffee's nickname "mocha."

c. 1600 Pressured by advisors to condemn infidel coffee (imported through Venice), Pope Clement VIII instead blesses it.

1616 Dutch pirates spirit away coffee trees to a greenhouse in Holland. Around the same time Baba Budan smuggles fertile seeds to Mysore in India.

1650 A Lebanese Ottoman Jewish student named Jacobs [1] opens first [2] European coffeehouse at Oxford University, England. Over the next half century, coffee takes Europe by storm; coffeehouses are called "penny universities."

1658 The Dutch plant and cultivate coffee in Ceylon, later in Java and Sumatra, ultimately giving coffee the nickname "java."

1669 The Turkish ambassador to Paris, Soliman Aga, introduces coffee at sumptuous parties.

1674 In London, the Women's Petition Against Coffee claims that coffee renders their men impotent; men counter that coffee adds "spiritualescency to the Sperme." The following year, King Charles II fails in his attempt to ban coffeehouses.

1683 After their failed siege of Vienna, the Turks flee, leaving coffee beans behind. Franz George Kolschitzky uses the beans to open a café, where he filters coffee and adds milk.

1689 Café de Procope is opened in Paris opposite Comedie Francaise.

1710 Instead of boiling it, the French pour hot water through grounds in cloth bag for the first infusion brewing.

1723 Gabriel Mathieu de Clieu brings a coffee tree to Martinique; most of the coffee in Latin America descends from this tree.

1727 Francisco de Melho Palheta seduces the governor's wife in French Guiana; she gives him ripe coffee cherries to take back to Brazil.

1732 Johann Sebastian Bach writes the Coffee Cantata, in which a rebellious daughter demands her coffee.

1773 During the Boston Tea Party, rebellious American colonists throw British tea imports overboard; coffee drinking becomes a patriotic act.

1781 Frederick the Great forbids most Prussian coffee roasting, saying, "My people must drink beer."

1791 A slave revolt on San Domingo (Haiti) destroys coffee plantations, where half the world's coffee had been grown.

1806 Napoleon declares France self-sufficient and promotes chicory over coffee.

1850 James Folger arrives in San Francisco during the Gold Rush and makes his fortune from coffee.

1864 American Jabez Burns invents an efficient, self-dumping roaster.

1869 Coffee rust fungus, hemileia vastatrix, appears in Ceylon and soon wipes out the East Indies coffee industry.

1871 John Arbuckle opens a coffee factory in New York and makes millions from his pre-roasted, packaged, and branded Ariosa coffee.

1878 Caleb Chase and James Sanborn form Chase & Sanborn.

1881 The New York Coffee Exchange opens.

1892 Joel Cheek invents Maxwell House Coffee blend in Nashville, Tennessee.

1900 Hills Brothers introduces vacuum-packed canned coffee. Tokyo chemist Sartori Kato introduces instant coffee; it is sold the following year at the Pan American Exposition.

1901 Italian Luigi Bezzera invents first commercial espresso machine.

1906 In Bremen, Germany, Ludwig Roselius patents Kaffee Hag, the first decaffeinated coffee. In France, it is called Sanka (from sans caffeine).

1908 German housewife Melitta Bentz makes a coffee filter using her son's blotting paper.

1911 The National Coffee Roasters Association is founded; it later becomes the National Coffee Association.

1918 The U. S. Army requisitions all of G. Washington's instant coffee for troops in World War I.

1920 Prohibition of alcohol enacted in USA, making coffee and coffeehouses even more popular.

1938 Nestle introduces Nescafé, an improved instant coffee, just before World War II. Maxwell House follows with its instant brand.

1946 U.S. per capita coffee consumption reaches 19.8 pounds.

1960 The Colombian Coffee Federation debuts the character of Juan Valdez, the humble coffee grower, with his mule.

1965 Boyd Coffee introduces the Flav-R-Flo brewing system, pionerring the filter and cone home brewer.

1966 Dutch immigrant Alfred Peet opens Peet's Coffee in Berkeley, California, at what is considered the beginning of the specialty coffee revolution.

1970 Italian Luigi Goglio invents a one-way valve to let coffee de-gas without contact with oxygen.

1971 Jerry Baldwin, Zev Siegl, and Gordon Bowker open Starbucks in Seattle.

1975 The Black Frost in Brazil decimates the coffee harvest, leading to high prices over the next two years.

1982 The national charter for the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) is created; specialty coffee companies are invited to join as "charter members."

1987 Howard Schultz buys Starbucks and begins to turn it into a worldwide specialty coffee chain.

1988 In the Netherlands, the Max Havelaar seal certifies Fair Trade coffee. Transfair USA follows suit in 1999.

2006 Specialty coffee accounts for 40% of the U. S. retail coffee market.

2007 The 25th anniversary of the founding of the Specialty Coffee Association of America is celebrated. Coffee is the world's second most valuable legal traded commodity, after oil.


[1] Not to be confused with Johann Jacobs who opened a coffee and tea shop in Bremen, Germany, in 1895.

The first person recorded in history to brew coffee in England was an international student named Nathaniel Conopios from Crete, who was studying at Balliol College, Oxford. This simple act, which happened in May 1637, was recorded by both scholar John Evelyn and historian Anthony Wood. Although shortly afterwards Conopios was expelled from college, his influence had a lasting effect on Oxford, as it was in Oxford that the first English coffeehouse was opened in 1650 by Jacob, a Lebanese Jew. Even though Jacob moved to London a few years later to repeat his success, he had begun a trend that saw many more coffeehouses open in Oxford during that decade.

John Evelyn, who was at the college at this time, recorded the strange occurance in a diary entry in May 1637: "There came in my time to the College one Nathaniel Conopios, out of Greece, sent into England, from Cyril, the patriarch of Constantinople… He was the first I ever saw drink Caffe, not heard of then in England, nor till many years after made a common entertainment all over the nation."

Around the same time as Conopios, Robert Burton, an Oxford don, made a reference to coffee in his massive, genius Anatomy of Melancholy: "The Turks have a drink called coffa (for they use no wine), so named of a berry black as soot, and as bitter (like that black drink which was in use among the Lacedaemonians, and perhaps the same), which they sip still of, and sup as warm as they can suffer; they spend much time in those coffa-houses, which are somewhat like our alehouses or taverns, and there they sit chatting and drinking to drive away the time..."

Saveur 100 for 2008 | Big Turk

Big Turk Jellylike, rose-scented turkish delight and chocolate may not seem like natural bedfellows, but the combination proves irresistible in this milk chocolate–covered bar from Canada.

Saveur 100 for 2008 | Sausages That Really Sizzle

Sausages That Really Sizzle
If you happen to find yourself in Serbia, Croatia, or virtually any other Balkan country and there's a flaming grill nearby, chances are someone is cooking CEVAPCICI. These super smoky, skinless sausages (pronounced che-VAHP-chi-chi)—usually a combination of minced beef, lamb, or pork seasoned with garlic and pepper—have a vibrant flavor and a juicy texture that make them one of the world's great meat dishes. Known by a variety of names, depending on the country you're in, and typically served with flatbread and condiments like roasted-pepper and eggplant sauce (usually called ajvar) and fermented cream, cevapcici likely owe their culinary origins to the Turks (the food is a cousin of the kebab, from which it derives its name). Whatever their provenance, the sooner they catch on here in the States, the better.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Turkish Food Primer from N.Y.Times

As nomads, the Turks were limited by what the land offered and by what could be prepared over a crude open fire, so it's not a stretch to understand how kebaps and köfte became the centerpieces of Turkish cooking. Turkish food today concentrates on simple combinations, few ingredients, and fresh produce.

With access to vast cupboards stocked with ingredients from the four corners of the empire, the palace chefs developed a more complex cuisine. The majority of these recipes, recorded in Arabic script, were regrettably lost in the language reforms. Some Ottoman favorites have made it to us nevertheless, like the hünkar begendi (the sultan was pleased), imam bayaldihanim göbegi (lady's navel), a syrupy dessert with a thumbprint in the middle. These have become staples in many run-of-the-mill restaurants, but true Ottoman cuisine is difficult to come by. Several restaurants in Istanbul have researched the palace archives to restore some of those lost delicacies to the modern table, providing a rare opportunity to sample the artistry and intricate combinations of exotic flavors in the world's first fusion food. The Turkish kitchen is always stocked with only the freshest vegetables, the most succulent fruits, the creamiest of cheeses and yogurt and the best cuts of meat. But, unless you're a pro like the chefs to the Sultans, whose lives depended on pleasing the palate of their leader, it takes a lot of creativity to turn such seemingly simple ingredients into dishes fit for a king. (the priest fainted; Barbara Cartland might have likened it to a woman's "flower"), and

A typical Turkish meal begins with a selection of mezes, or appetizers. These often become a meal in themselves, accompanied by an ample serving of raki, that when taken together, form a recipe for friendship, laughter, and song. The menu of mezes often includes several types of eggplant, called patlican; ezme, a fiery hot salad of red peppers; sigara böregi, fried cheese "cigars"; and dolmalar, anything from peppers or vine leaves stuffed with rice, pine nuts, cumin, and fresh mint.

The dilemma is whether or not to fill up on these delectables or save room for the kebaps, a national dish whose stature rivals that of pasta in Italy. While izgara means "grilled," the catchall phrase kebap simply put, means "roasted," and denotes an entire class of meats cooked using various methods. Typical kebaps include lamb "shish"; spicy Adana kebap, a spicy narrow sausage made of ground lamb; döner kebap, slices of lamb cooked on a vertical revolving spit; patlican kebap, slices of eggplant and lamb grilled on a skewer; and the artery-clogging Iskender kebap, layers of pide, tomatoes, yogurt, and thinly sliced lamb drenched in melted butter. Turks are equally nationalistic over their köfte, Turkey's answer to the hamburger: flat or round little meatballs served with slices of tomato and whole green chili peppers. But even though signs for kebap houses may mar the view, Turkish citizens are anything but carnivores, preferring instead to fill up on grains and vegetables. Saç kavurmamanti, a meat-filled ravioli, dumpling, or kreplach,Pide is yet another interpretation of pizza made up of fluffy oven-baked bread topped with a variety of ingredients and sliced in strips. Lahmacun is another version of the pizza, only this time the bread is as thin as a crepe and lightly covered with chopped onions, lamb, and tomatoes. Picking up some "street food" can be a great diversion, especially in the shelter of some roadside shack where the corn and gözleme -- a freshly made cheese or potato (or whatever) crepe that is the providence of expert rolling pin-wielding village matrons -- are hot off the grill. represents a class of casseroles sautéed or roasted in an earthenware dish that, with the help of an ample amount of velvety Turkish olive oil, brings to life the flavors of ingredients like potatoes, zucchini, tomatoes, eggplant, and beef chunks. No self-respecting gourmand should leave Turkey without having had a plate of adapted to the local palate by adding a garlic-and-yogurt sauce.

Desserts fall into two categories: baklava and milk-based. Baklava, a type of dessert made of thin layers of pastry dough soaked in syrup, is a sugary sweet bomb best enjoyed around teatime, although several varieties are made so light and fluffy that you'll be tempted to top off dinner with a sampling. The milk-based desserts have no eggs or butter and are a guilt-free pick-me-up in the late afternoon hours, although there's no bad time to treat yourself to some creamy sütlaç (rice pudding). The sprinkling of pistachio bits is a liberal addition to these and many a Turkish dessert, while comfort food includes the irmik helva, a delicious yet simple family tradition of modestly sweet semolina, pine nuts, milk, and butter (okay, I lied about the guilt-free part).

So what's the deal with Turkish delight? Otherwise known as lokum, this sweet candy is made of cornstarch, nuts, syrup, and an endless variety of flavorings to form a skwooshy tidbit whose appeal seems to be more in the gift giving than on its own merit.

A Punishment Worse Than the Crime? -- In Turkey, tripe soup, called Iskembe Çorbasi or Korkoreç, is a widely accepted remedy for a hangover.

You'll Never Count Sheep Again -- Bus drivers in Turkey abide by an unwritten rule never to eat cacik -- a salad of yogurt, cucumber, and garlic, often served as a soup -- while on duty. The dish is believed to be a surefire, and natural, cure for insomnia.


Rather than the question, "Would you like something to drink?" Turkish hospitality leaps immediately to the "What?" Tea, called çay (chai) in Turkish, is not so much a national drink as it is a ritual. Boil the water incorrectly and you're in for trouble. Let the tea steep without prior rinsing and you've committed an unforgivable transgression. What's amazing is that so many tea drinkers manage to maintain white teeth, and as you'll see, some don't. Tea is served extremely hot and strong in tiny tulip-shaped glasses, accompanied by exactly two sugar cubes. The size of the glass ensures that the tea gets consumed while hot, and before you slurp your final sip, a new glass will arrive. If you find the tea a bit strong, especially on an empty stomach, request that it be "açik" or "opened," so that the ratio of water to steeped tea is increased.

The coffee culture is a little less prevalent but no less steeped in tradition. Early clerics believed it to be an intoxicant and consequently had it banned. But the kahvehane (coffeehouse) refused to go away, and now the sharing of a cup of coffee is an excuse to prolong a discussion, plan, negotiate, or just plain relax. Turkish coffee is ground to a fine dust, boiled directly in the correct quantity of water, and served as is. Whether you wait for the grinds to settle or down the cup in one shot is entirely an individual choice, although if you leave the muddy residue at the bottom of the cup, you may be able to coax somebody to read your fortune.

There are two national drinks: raki and ayran. Raki is an alcoholic drink distilled from raisins and then redistilled with aniseed. Even when diluted with water, this "lion's milk" still packs a punch, so drink responsibly! Raki is enjoyed everywhere, but is particularly complementary to a meal of mezes.

Ayran is a refreshing beverage made by diluting yogurt with water. Westerners more accustomed to a sweet-tasting yogurt drink may at first be put off by the saltiness of ayran, but when mentally prepared, it's impossible to dismiss the advantages of this concoction, especially after a dehydrating afternoon trudging through shadeless, dusty ruins.

And Not a Starbucks in Sight! -- As a result of the Ottoman's second unsuccessful siege on Vienna, many of the army supplies were left behind in the retreat, including sacks and sacks of coffee beans. Believing them to be sacks of animal waste, the Viennese began to burn the sacks, until a more worldly citizen, aware of the market value of the bean, got a whiff and promptly saved the lot. He later opened up the first coffeehouse in Vienna.

A Restaurant Primer

The idiosyncrasies of a foreign culture can create some frustrating experiences, especially when they get in the way of eating. In Turkey, dining out in often boisterous groups has traditionally been the province of men, and a smoke-filled room that reeks of macho may not be the most relaxing prospect for a meal. A woman dining alone will often be whisked away to an upstairs "family salon," called the aile salonu, where -- what else -- families, and particularly single women, can enjoy a night out in peace and quiet. Take advantage of it, and don't feel discriminated against; it's there for your comfort.

Restaurants are everywhere, and although the name restoran was a European import used for the best establishments, nowadays practically every type of place goes by that name. Cheap, simple, and often charming meals can be had at a family-run place called a lokanta, where the food is often prepared in advance (hazir yemek) and presented in a steam table. A meyhane is a tavern full of those smokin' Turks I mentioned earlier, whereas a birahane is basically a potentially unruly beer hall. Both are said to be inappropriate for ladies; however, recently, some meyhanes have morphed into civilized places for a fun and sophisticated night out.

Now that you've picked the place, it's time to sit down and read the menu, right? Wrong. Not all restaurants automatically provide menus, instead offering whatever's seasonal or the specialty of the house. If you'd feel more comfortable with a menu, don't be shy about asking, and politely say, "Menü var mi?" Mezes (appetizers) are often brought over on a platter, and the protocol is to simply point at the ones you want. Don't feel pressured into accepting every plate the waiter offers (none of it is free) or into ordering a main dish; Turks often make a meal out of an array of mezes. When ordering fish, it's perfectly acceptable to have your selection weighed for cost; if the price is higher than you planned to pay, either choose a less expensive fish or barter for price per weight. Some restaurants do have fixed costs per weight, however.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

BBC talks Turkish Delight

Turkish Delight

Not to be confused with narcotics and belly-dancers, a circular wooden boxful of this jelly-like sweet is as quintessential as a jar of pickled-walnuts and tartan-boxed shortbread in any self-respecting Christmas hamper. Certainly in Western society, it is associated with Christmas (thus snow) and in CS Lewis' Narnia stories, the Snow Queen uses Turkish delight to bewitch Edmund and thence to control him.

In Turkey, Turkish delight continues to be sold as Rahat lokhoum, and indeed the adopted English word 'lokum' meaning Turkish delight is derived therefrom, and thence from a corruption of the Arabic rahat ul hulkum (literally translated as 'soothing to the throat').

What Is It Then?

Fundamentally, Turkish delight (or lokum) is a confectionery concoction of sugar-syrup and gum-arabic, flavoured with nuts, fruits and flowers, which, after due and diligent preparation, is served in pastel-coloured (pink, white and yellow are standard) cubic bite-sized morsels for consumption with cups of strong Turkish coffee.

Traditional flavourings are rose, lemon and vanilla, (evidently to match the standard colours), although 'modern' flavours like crème de menthe, almond and pistachio now exist.

Each morsel is typically coated in a dusting of fine white icing sugar (or at least a blend of sugar and cornstarch), which can give one the impression of eating a lump of stiff glue covered in talcum powder.

Commercial 'western' Turkish delight is typically softer and less chewy than the authentic Turkish confectionery product. Even further from the truth are those slippery condomically-pink 'Turkish delights' that masquerade under a charade of chocolate.

Is It Really Turkish?

Absolutely. In 1776, Anatolian sweetmaker, Hadji Bekir, travelled to Constantinople bringing with him a recipe for rahat lokhoum, in which the traditional sweetening ingredients of honey-syrup and grape-molasses were replaced with the newly available refined sugar. Evidently Hadji Bekir was something of a contemporary Turkish Willy Wonka because soon after establishing himself in Constantinople, rahat lokhoum became wildly popular and Bekir was appointed as chief confectioner to the Sultan himself.

And Then?

Legend has it that adventurer, explorer, writer, scholar, womanising philanderer, and all round man's man, Sir Richard Burton, was responsible for introducing Turkish delight to Europe, supposedly returning with a parcel of rahat lokhoum from an expedition to Constantinople. Somewhat disappointingly however, this is probably more myth than legend ... it reportedly first showed up in Europe at the Vienna Fair in 1837 when Burton would have been only 16 years old. The traveller responsible for taking Turkish delight to Europe remains unknown.

'Lumps of delight' as it became known to the English (Charles Dickens' The Mystery of Edwin Drood (published 1870) refers to a Lumps of delight shop) was renamed 'Turkish delight' during the 19th Century, and commercial manufacture began in earnest in the UK in 1872. Perhaps most famously, Fry's [1] started selling Turkish delight in 1914.

[1] Fry's Turkish Delight is a chocolate bar made by Cadbury's, and formerly by J. S. Fry & Sons. It was launched in 1914 and consists of a rose-flavoured Turkish delight surrounded by milk chocolate. It is widely marketed as being 92% fat-free.
The bar remains fairly popular in the UK and Australia, where the chocolate bar remains a staple. In Australia, the range of "Turkish" products released by Cadbury has expanded to include mini Easter eggs, ice-cream, sectioned family block chocolate bars, and small versions used in boxed chocolates

Mavi Boncuk Links
Ali Muhiddin Haci Bekir
The Lion, the Witch & the Turkish Delight

A Confection (BASIC LOKUM)

8 cups sugar
8 cups water
1-1/2 cups cornstarch
3 tablespoons lemon juice
3 or 4 drops of oil of bergamot

Heat the water. Mix cornstarch and sugar together and dissolve in the heated water. Cook on low fire until thickened. Then lower the fire to very low, and stir continuously while cooking for one hour. Ten minutes before it is done add the bergamot and the lemon juice. Pour into a shallow pan and cut into small squares while still warm. Dip into powdered sugar before serving.

You may add pistachio nuts to the mixture when you take it off the fire.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Kipfel /Ay Coregi

It all started more than four hundred years ago, in 1683, when Ottomans sent 300,000 Turkish soldiers from Constantinople to siege Vienna and doing their best to fend of the encroaching armies of the Duke of Lorraine of France and King John of Poland who aimed to defend their allies in Austria.

As the plot unfolded, the star character taking center stage was one Franz Georg Kolschitzky who, wearing an ornate Turkish uniform, wended his way into the confidence of the Turks and managed to relay enough information to the Duke and the King. The Turks were rumored to leve inordinate amount of supplies: 10,000 oxen, 5,000 camels, 25,000 tents, and a rather large bounty of gold.

Kolschitzky, took another route to claim his role in Viennese history: he recognized that among the supplies the Turks left behind was a considerable amount of coffee beans. He wangled them for himself and with this chest of beans, opened Vienna's first coffeehouse, the Blue Bottle (aka Blue Flask). So popular was his new business, it soon spawned an official guild of coffeemakers (kaffe-sieder) and cafes bursted onto the scene in old-world Vienna, welcoming artists and anarchists, poets, and radicals.

Kipfel and krapfen are two pastries that date from Kolschitzky's era. The kipfel actually began as a politically incorrect piece of pastry. Shaped like the crescent in the Turkish flag, it gave many a Viennese great satisfaction to bite into it with gusto. The krapfen is a jelly doughnut that Kolschitzky commissioned to be designed. Each was eaten with the three types of Viennese coffees of that era: mélange, coffee with milk; braun, a darker brew with less milk; or schwarzer, a strong, very black cup of coffee.

Kipfel pastries are also popular in Hungary and Czechoslovakia, and the following is a typical recipe of this classic.

Kipfel Pastries

Pastry Ingredients:
1/2 cup butter
8 ounces of cottage cheese
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

Filling Ingredients:
1 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped fine
1 cup granulated white sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

In a bowl, mix together the butter and cottage cheese until creamy smooth. Add the heavy cream and blend until well incorporated. Sift the flour then stir that in; a stiff dough will form. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

To prepare for baking, chop the nuts until fine. Mix with the sugar and cinnamon and set aside. Grease a baking sheet lightly.

Divide the dough into thirds and keep one and return the other two to the refrigerator. Roll out the one-third segment on a floured board until it is as thin as you can roll it. Cut the dough into triangles about four inches wide. Place a heaping teaspoon of the nut mixture in the middle of the base of the triangle then start rolling from the bottom and curve slightly into the shape of a crescent. When you are through with this segment of the dough, use the second, then the third until all the crescents are complete. Bake at 400°F. until lightly browned, about 15 minutes. Remove from the pan and allow to cool on a rack.


Monday, March 19, 2007

Bursa Lenger Kebab

It’s not İskender, it’s even better!
The delicious İskender kebab we all know from Bursa has changed its look and its name and is now to be found in Istanbul, and if you are the type to hit the street looking for a different taste you just might encounter it, though first you should arm yourself with information about this old favorite’s new identity.

The newly opened Bursa Lenger Kebab in İstanbul’s Kavacık district is the place to go. Don’t be dissuaded by the name “lenger,” which is a general term applied to a wide variety of kebabs and rice dishes. The important thing here is what sort of flavor the lenger kebab imparts and be warned, if you are heading out to eat lenger kebab you’d better go with an empty stomach; the full plate before you will be a real challenge and one you will be unable to refuse.

Bursa Lenger Kebab opened five months ago, providing an İstanbul site for one of Bursa’s most famous dishes. Bursa’s fresh and natural ingredients are reflected in all this restaurant’s dishes; the delicious smells of butter, the snowy-white beauty of the yogurt. Not surprising then that lenger kebabs have been rapidly winning a place for themselves in the stomachs and hearts of customers all over Istanbul.

Bülent Başarır, a managing director of the restaurant, noted that he and his partners originally set out to become a well-known brand in Istanbul and spoke about the eatery’s local clientele. “Around noon we mostly get people who work in nearby offices. In the evening we get customers from Acarkent, Beykoz Konakları and Hisarevleri. We also do a lot of deliveries to these places,” he explained.

Another partner in the restaurant, Dursun Duran, noted that new additions would be made to the menu by September. “After many requests we are now thinking about including dishes like Bursa’s ‘çiçek köftesi’ (’flower meatball’) and pirzola (lamb chops).” Duran stressed that the restaurant’s köfte (meatball) dishes contain no artificial additives. The management’s careful attitude toward the customers’ health has one slight drawback: the lenger kebab is not cooked over a coal fire, slightly reducing -- though by no means spoiling -- its flavor.

Bursa Lenger Kebab also offers other Turkish favorites such as Inegol köfte, cheese köfte, butchers’ köfte and Bursa’s famous “breaded köfte.” After the main course diners can also satisfy their sweet tooth with choices like Kemalpaşa dessert or even kabak şekeri (candied pumpkin).

With a staff of nine, the traditionally styled venue seats up to 80 and offers a wonderful Bosporus view. Ample parking is available, making the restaurant a perfect place for a business lunch or, on Sundays, brunch. Ultimately, perhaps the best thing about Bursa Lenger Kebab is that it means that finally one need not go all the way to Bursa to enjoy the city’s fine cuisine.

The restaurant is open from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. daily.
Bursa Lenger Kebab: Cumhuriyet Cad. No: 131 Çavuşbaşı Yolu
Kavacık-Beykoz-İstanbul T: 0216 680 22 70-71-72

Friday, March 16, 2007

Andrew Dalby

Andrew Dalby (born Liverpool, 1947) is an English linguist, translator and historian who most often writes about food history.

Dalby worked for fifteen years at Cambridge University Library, eventually specializing in Southern Asia. In 1982 and 1983 he collaborated with Sao Saimong in cataloguing the Scott Collection of manuscripts and documents from Burma (especially the Shan States) and Indochina; he was later to publish a short biography of the colonial civil servant and explorer J. G. Scott, who formed the collection.[1]

At Cambridge Dalby wrote no books, but many articles on multilingual topics linked with the Library and its collections. He afterwards worked in London, starting the library at Regent's College and renovating the one at London House (Goodenough College), also serving as Honorary Librarian of the Institute of Linguists, for whose journal The Linguist he writes a regular column. His Dictionary of Languages was published in 1998. Language In Danger, on the extinction of languages and the threatened monolingual future, followed in 2002.

Meanwhile he began to work on food history, and contributed to Alan Davidson's journal Petits Propos Culinaires; he was eventually one of Davidson's informal helpers on the Oxford Companion to Food. Dalby's first food history book, Siren Feasts, appeared in 1995 and won a Runciman Award; it is also well known in Greece, where it was translated as Seireneia Deipna. At the same time he was working with Sally Grainger on The Classical Cookbook, the first historical cookbook to look beyond Apicius to other ancient Greek and Roman sources in which recipes are found.

Dangerous Tastes, on the history of spices, was the Guild of Food Writers Food Book of the Year for 2001. Work on this also led to Dalby's first article for Gastronomica magazine, in which he traced the disastrous exploration of Gonzalo Pizarro in search of La Canela in eastern Ecuador, showing how the myth of the "Valley of Cinnamon" first arose and identifying the real tree species which was at the root of the legend.[2] Dalby's light-hearted biography of Bacchus includes a retelling, rare in English, of the story of Prosymnus and the price he demanded for guiding Dionysus to Hades. His epilogue to Petronius' Satyrica combines a gastronomic commentary on the "Feast of Trimalchio" with a fictional dénouement inspired by the fate of Petronius himself.[3]

Dalby's latest book, Rediscovering Homer, develops out of two academic papers of the 1990s in which he argued that the Iliad and Odyssey must be seen as belonging to the same world as that of the early Greek lyric poets but to a less aristocratic genre.[4] Returning to these themes, he spotlights the unknown poet who, long after the time of the traditional Homer, at last saw the Iliad and Odyssey recorded in writing. As he teasingly suggests, based on what we can judge of this poet's interests and on the circumstances in which oral poetry has been recorded elsewhere, "it is possible, and even probable, that this poet was a woman".[5]


* 1993: South East Asia: a guide to reference material
* 1995: Siren Feasts: a history of food and gastronomy in Greece
* 1996: The Classical Cookbook
* 1998: Cato: On Farming (translation and commentary)
* 1998: Dictionary of Languages
* 1998: Guide to World Language Dictionaries
* 2000: Empire of Pleasures
* 2000: Dangerous Tastes: the story of spices
* 2002: Language in Danger
* 2003: Flavours of Byzantium
* 2003: Food in the ancient world from A to Z
* 2005: Bacchus: a biography
* 2005: Venus: a biography
* 2006: Rediscovering Homer


1. "Sir George Scott, 1851-1935: explorer of Burma's eastern borders" in Explorers of South-East Asia ed. V.T. King (Kuala Lumpur: Oxford University Press/Penerbit Fajar Bakti, 1995).
2. "Christopher Columbus, Gonzalo Pizarro, and the search for cinnamon" in Gastronomica vol. 1 no. 2 (2001) pp. 40-49.
3. "The Satyrica concluded" in Gastronomica vol. 5 no. 4 (2005) pp. 65-72.
4. "The Iliad, the Odyssey and their audiences" in Classical quarterly NS vol. 45 no. 2 (1995); "Homer's enemies: lyric and epic in the seventh century" in Archaic Greece: new approaches and new evidence ed. Nick Fisher and Hans van Wees (London: Duckworth, 1998).
5. The idea has been dismissed as "far-fetched" by Anthony Snodgrass on the grounds that a woman would have been "bored out of her mind" when composing the Iliad ( [1]).