Anatolia, Adventures in Turkish Eating is more than a cook book, it’s a travel guide, narrative journey and exploration of a four thousand year old cooking culture.
From street stalls to grand banquets, authors Somer and David share their stories and reimagine the traditions of Turkish cuisine. They also reveal the surrounding rituals, myths and folk wisdom.
My favourite chapter showcases Meze, a selection of small tasting plates shared with family and friends. Every great food culture has a tradition of small tasting plates served with a national drink, says Somer and David. The Italians have antipasto, the French have hors d’oevres, the Spanish have tapas and the Chinese have yum cha. The Turks have meze – think melon and white cheese, spicy tomato salsa, eggplant salad, marinated fish, pomegranate humus, green olive and walnut salad, broad bean pate, dolma, stuffed zucchini flowers and braised artichokes.
Anatolia features more than 150 dishes, with all photography shot on location in Turkey. It opens with the essentials: history, ingredients and techniques. The recipes are then divided into breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, meze and dinner. Local Turkish chefs and producers are also featured, adding a fascinating layer of interest. Combining culture, food and history with stunning photography is a sure fire way to inspire your next overseas adventure.
The first edition of this book was widely published and has now been fully updated. Since its original publication, Somer has opened a second Sydney restaurant.
“My food philosophy remains the same: to get the best out of seasonal local produce with techniques tested and proven by my ancestors,” he says.
Somer Sivrioglu grew up in Istanbul and moved to Australia where he recreates the food traditions of his homeland. David Dale is a food and travel writer.
Reviewer: Andrea Molloy
Murdoch Books, RRP $55.00