Week 1 – Researching another culture.
• For centuries, Turkish khans and sultans had their own chefs prepare the tastiest dishes for them, which also influenced today’s popular Turkish food. Considered to be a combination of Central Asian, Balkan, and Middle Eastern cuisine, Turkish kitchen offers a variety of tastes ranging from mildly spicy Middle Eastern dishes to delicious olive oil appetizers that are truly Mediterranean. Each region in Turkey also contributes to the richness of Turkish food. In Anatolia, beans are cooked quite often whereas corn based dishes can be served in every meal in the Black Sea Region.
• 3 things everyone should know about Turkish food culture are Ekmek (bread), Chai (Black Tea) and Sofra Adabi (Eating Manners). First, ekmek, which is similar to French baguette, is present in every meal because Turks love eating bread with almost anything. Second, each meal includes or is followed by a cup of black tea and Turkey ranks as #4 in the world in tea consumption. Third, Turkish people put special emphasis on eating manners at the table (actually, throughout the history, most of the people ate meals on the floor with a big round pan called “tepsi”). Everyone should wait till the oldest person starts eating and recite “besmele” before the meal.
• Just like any other developed country, modern Turks wear casual dresses in Western style. Traditionally though, Turkish clothes were similar to dresses in Caucasia and were made by cotton, silk and wool because of relatively cooler climate.
• The areas Turks lived in throughout the history are close to Silk Road, so this might also have contributed to the clothing culture. During the Ottoman Empire, some women wore “ferace” (gray or black one-piece fabric that covers most of the body) and some men wore “shalvar” (loose pants) and different headdresses based on their social status. The sultans had large white silk sash wound over the head and decorated with...