About the author Yönetim Gastronomi

Civilizations Cuisine

Hatay cuisine , established twenty-three has been home to civilization in the world, that’s a geography, trade and Spice road here, lived large civilization of cuisine and to move up to the present. For this reason, I do research in Arab, French and Turkish cuisine blended from that time to the present day and unique tastes in multiple denominations and religions of lightn Hatay  is a place frequented by centuries of civilization, our tables  images are still present.  Maybe with this aspect of our world is the only kitchen.

 

CREATIVE CITIES NETWORK UNESCO, HATAY, GASTRONOMY CANDIDACY I SUPPORT

 

Abdulcelil ERKAN – HATAY is a MEMBER OF  BOARD of DIRECTORS  ASSOCIATION of COOKS, İNTERNATİONAL GASTRONOMİ WORD SECOND – Click for Autobiography.

Hatay Cuisine

Hatay is one of the ancient settlements, which has hosted [many] civilizations starting from 9000 BC up until now. It has a 186 kilometer-long coastal band, the mild climate of Mediterranean region, the first church of Christianity, namely Saint Pierre, the first mosque of Anatolia, namely Habib-i Neccar, and numerous historical heritages. This land that has hosted many different cultures for thousands of years invites us with a very rich cuisine waiting to be discovered.

Hatay cuisine is like a cuisine symphony with unique musical notes and rhythm that is different from any other cuisines in many aspects. If you are inclined to listen, you may catch the special cultural tasty melodies at each and every table from breakfast to dinner and from night-kanafeh to the flavors that reflect the rituals of different religions’ specific days. Mediterranean cuisine culture’s vegetable and olive oil effect is highly strong on Hatay cuisine. In fact, even “olive crumbs”, obtained during olive oil production, are added into leavened dough and turned into delicious “Olive Crumb Bread” ready to be served at table. When you taste this bread, you may find yourself visiting an olive museum that is thousands of years old in Tokaşlı village and hearing the olive tree that Homer talks with: “I belong to everybody and I belong to nobody. I was here before you came. I will still be here after you leave.”

Yogurt, our heritage from Central Asia, has been transformed into something else in Hatay cuisine. It has become an irreplaceable nutrient of breakfast tables and meals as “Salted Yogurt”. Hatay is the gateway of Mesopotamia referred as the homeland of wheat. There are many dishes with wheat recipes in our cuisine, but you may taste a very special form in Hatay called as Aşur, which is cooked with hot pepper, cumin and fall-apart tender meat. Hatay’s meat and kebab culture not only includes shish kebab and barbecue tradition, but also many other cooking techniques such as pot dish and oven roasted kebabs cooked with plenty of vegetables, indicating the reflection of different cultures on Hatay’s cuisine. Musty cottage cheese called “Sürk” is a unique item of the food culture in terms of its fermentation process and dominant taste. Pepper bread and cottage cheese bread traditionally made in tandoori are typical tastes of Hatay.

There are a few cuisines where spices are used diversely and in balance. The most important point on spice use in Hatay cuisine is that spices are not used excessively in every dish. As a result of a fine palatal delight, spices are used diversely and as required. There is a saying in Hatay emphasizing this approach: “We ate a hot [raw] meatball, my dear, I wish you have no day of sorrow.” Food is not only referred in the kitchen, but also in daily language, prayers, proverbs and sayings. Long story short, you may witness the traces of history and culture even in a single example of a table that is set each and every day. When you have a glimpse on this very rich cuisine’s culture, you are bewitched, you embrace its rhythm, and you can never quit.

To me, all special products can be used in a healthy nutrition. These foods deserve to be on the tables of all that cherish gastronomy, not only the ones who know or are familiar with Hatay. Travel and gastronomy lovers should be aware of this ancient heritage of taste, experts should inform them, and they should see and listen the stories on the premises in person. It would be an exciting experience to open the gastronomy door of this magical world that embraces the sense of belonging to Hatay and being a part of this rich and diverse mosaic culture that embraces many different religions from Muslim to Hebrew, Christian, Armenian, Alevist and Sunni.

Hatay cuisine is absolutely a world cuisine. This cuisine culture should be known all around the world as well as Turkey. It should become a part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network in gastronomy category. I support it with all my heart and soul.

ASUMAN KERKEZ

 

Characteristic Features of Hatay Cuisine

When we look at the characteristic features of Antakya cuisine, we can see that it is influenced by the neighbor cuisines alongside with its specific features and that it also influences these cuisines.

It use all materials that are used in a typical Mediterranean cuisine. For example, legumes and cereals are used often. Olive oil and butter are the main oils used in food. Tail fat, suet and a mix of them are also used in food. For example, it uses suet and butter to achieve crispiness in cookies and tries to save on butter through mixing olive oil and butter (Kaytaz boregi, a pastry filled with meat). I believe that the use of tail fat in Antakya cuisine is probably originated from Central Asian cuisine. Because we can see that the food in these cuisines lives in our cuisine with very similar recipes (Hamis, Mixed Liver, Korma). As it has become home to many cultures, Antakya cuisine has taken the recipes it likes, tailored them to its own taste and flavor and could fit them in itself. Therefore, it has never been closed to different cuisine cultures, on the contrary it has managed be a traditional and innovative cuisine.

Antakya cuisine is a remarkable cuisine together with its desserts, sour food, meat, pastry, stuffed grape leaves, stuffed vegetables, jams, breads, cheese, soups, hot meals and cold meals. One of the most important factors of being a cuisine is the requirement of being an original cuisine with a large number of recipes. The fact that 200 out of over 400 recipes of Antakya cuisine are original recipes and also there are around 40 forgotten recipes shows us that it is a remarkable cuisine. When it is considered that the Ottoman cuisine contains 315 recipes, the significance of Antakya cuisine can be seen. (1)

There is a separation of poor cuisine and rich cuisine in Antakya cuisine, and the same recipes can be made in different ways in these coexisting cuisines. In Antakya cuisine, the traditions bring together the eating and presentation characteristics of the food. It is about which food is eaten or presented with which food. There are around 43 types of food that forms such pairs (You can find more information on the section ‘Pairs in Antakya cuisine’).

It is possible to see the lifestyle in the food recipes of Antakya cuisine. When we look at this cuisine, we can see the daughter in law-mother in law relationship and a patriarchal family structure. Moreover, since the love relationship between women and men are never overt due to conservative family structure, women express their love with their food and presentation. Young girls are under strict food training until they get married. This is the preparation period for kitchen and cooking at young ages, as can be seen in the food called anali kiz (mother-daughter).

In Antakya cuisine, there are 2000 years, 1500 years, 1000 years, 800 years, 500 years, 200 years, 100 years old food and this cuisine can bring the recipes of these food up to today without making any change since their originality is suitable for the gusto and for the ingredients it uses (e.g. Stuffed Kidney 3rd century, Isbangi 11th century, Stuffed Apple 13th century, Chard with Yogurt 15th century, Long Squash Stew 16th century etc.).

Antakya cuisine also serves for those who want to satisfy their need for food through Fast Food, in other words while on the move. It has a considerable number of food types also in this area (Pepper bread, vegetable fritters, bezirgan kebab, mashed pepper, Turkish bagels, ayran).

Other than the food cooked with fresh herbs, Antakya cuisine also knows how to dry the herbs and vegetables, and makes use of them as beverages, food and flavors (This topic will be explained more comprehensively in the section “Dried food in Antakya cuisine’).

The skill of Antakya cuisine in creating taste is praiseworthy. It can create different tastes through using the same ingredient in recipes that are not related with each other. Sumac can be given as an example to that. It can catch different tastes through using sumac in kashkek, onion and roasted pepper.

This cuisine has also found ingredients that it can use in all seasons. Bitter orange juice, Verjuice, Purslane, Terebinth shoot etc.

Antakya cuisine is one of the cuisines that are worth of being examined in terms of cooking. It has used any kind of heat energy and ingredients that emit this heat. It has provided cooking processes through making use of masonry oven, tandoor and iron plate with the Coal, Wood, Brushwood, Electricity, Ember, Cinder Fire, Boiling, Frying and Steam methods.

In Antakya cuisine, ingredient use is in a harmony. They are used as complementary elements in creating taste. E.g. Tahini-Humus, Tahini-Parsley, Strained Yogurt, Walnut-Pepper etc. There is almost no change in the original recipes of the desserts. Pumpkin in syrup and walnuts, Kunafa, Stone kadayif, Blancmange, Cheese halva etc.

It is a cuisine with numerous forgotten food, food poems, mythological food stories, food description mosaics and pots it uses; it makes it possible that the same food is seen in various ways and it reflects different cultures that live next to each other. It is observed that when kibbeh is made in a Christian culture, it is different than the one made in a Muslim community in terms of shape, size and ingredients. It is also observed that the same food can be presented with different ingredients, as in kashkek (see the writing about kashkek), in the Alevi and Sunni communities in Muslim community.

I support Hatay’s application for UNESCO creative cities network.

SÜHEYL BUDAK – Turkey Chefs Federation Honorable member and  ve advisory board member – Click for Autobiography.

Süheyl BUDAK

I was born in Antakya in 1951. I completed my primary, middle and high school education in Antakya. During my education, I first had become an apprentice, then assistant foreman and finally a foreman in confenctionery and Turkish delight production. After my undergraduate study, I became interested especially in Turkish delight production area of this profession and I have written an unpublished thesis study on how the changes made in water, starch and sugar ratio affect the Turkish delight, as a result of the studies I had carried out for ideal Turkish delight formulas. I graduated from the Civil Engineering Department of Istanbul Yildiz University in 1976.

I started my job with prefabricated houses and at the end of 40 years, we continue our business by building smart houses. I have over one hundred published articles on housing and municipal works as of 1980. The titles of some of these articles are:

Right to housing, is the shanty a destiny? The reasons of housing problem in Turkey, solutions to the shanty problem, Mass housing, Is mass housing a remedy to housing deficit? Habitat, Right to shelter, I want my municipality, City assemblies in municipalities, How should the smart houses, smart buildings, smart roads and smart pavements be?, multi-functional materials, self-cleaning vitrifications etc.

As a result of my studies in social responsibility projects as of 1990, I took part in the establishing and commissioning process from planning to the construction of the DOGAR plant which is a first in Turkey. DOGAR natural treatment plant is a project for cleaning the sewage residue of a town with 2500 residents, without using any electricity or cleaning agent.

In those years, I started off with the fear that the tastes of my mother and childhood have changed and a cuisine will disappear together with this change, and on this road I realized that there is no publication about Antakya cuisine and that this cuisine is carried by word of mouth from the mother to the daughter. After realizing that, I first started to collect and publish the recipes of this food; however, I had to research the roots of Antakya cuisine while taking these actions. As a result of these researches, I have seen, experienced, learnt and written that this is a cuisine which brings the cuisine cultures of very old cultures up to today and make us experience those cultures.

Since Antakya cuisine is in a geography that has become home to 15 out of 23 civilizations established in the world, it could experience the cuisines of these great civilizations and brought the ones it liked up until today. In researches I have carried out about this, I have found out that it is influenced by Sumerians, Akkadians, Hittites, Phoenicians, Roman cuisine, Byzantine cuisine, Abbasid cuisine, Fatimid cuisine, Oghuzs, Mamluk cuisine and Ottoman cuisine, and that it is a unique and probably the world’s only cuisine which has brought the food it likes from that period.

I have published most of these researches on the magazines of Guney Ruzgari and Hatay Keşif. Some of these articles are: An 11th century food Borani, a 19th century food Paper Kebab, A bread left us from Sumerians, Pomegranate syrup: A gift from the Sumerian cuisine, Abbasid cuisine in Antakya cuisine. Interaction of Antakya cuisine with other cuisines, Antakya food in epic and poems, Rıtual food in Antakya cuisine, Turkish bath food in Antakya cuisine, Feast food in Antakya cuisine, engagement and wedding food in Antakya cuisine etc.

When I started to examine the circulation of food in the world throughout the years, I have seen how food change in time and how their names become different. Then I started to study on the histories of the food and write articles about that. With my articles such as From Tutmac Soup to Ravioli, From Muferrike to Ratatouille, From Kulic to Kulce, I revealed how our food are taken by other cuisines and shown as if they are the products of their own cuisine.

I started to make researches on geographical signs in 2000 and as a result of the studies I have carried out for raising public awareness regarding this subject, I took public’s attention and raised public awareness through registering Antakya Kunafa’s geographical sign to Antakya Chamber of Commerce and Industry in 2016. I am still giving seminars and speeches on geographical signs.

The books I have published so far are Antakya Cuisine from Past to the Future, Antep Pistachio (Editor Gonca Tokuz), My Dear Antakya with Rebel Smile (Editor Hakan Mertcan).

For seventeen years, I am a part of a study which includes the food of Anatolian cuisine on an index. This index is collected under 32 main titles and I am trying to collect them under the name of Turkishfoodcodex. The soup section, which is the first of these main titles, is completed and I have detected that we have 1016 types of soup.

I am currently an honorary member an advisory board member in Turkish Culinary Federation.

 

Hatay Street and Market Foods

As it is known, each region has a different life style and different kind of cooking and eating habits accordingly. Sometimes this is based on conditions and needs of the time. In Antakya cuisine, eating habits are sometimes conveyed to street and street vendors offer food to the public. There are some seasonal foods that are only offered in winters or summers. We may see breakfasts, lunches and mid-afternoon meals offered as street foods.

In general, bagel and buttermilk combination has been offered in the mornings for a long time. This combination is mostly seen in Aprils. It continues throughout the entire summer and disappears through winter. When autumn comes, muhammara [walnut and red pepper paste], zengin [salad], biberli ekmek [pepper bread], öcce [vegetable patty] sales are seen on the stands of street vendors. Maybe you would ask what they are actually doing with muhammara and zengin? The vendor places these two pepper dishes on surface of breads and offers them in wraps. There are regional differences in street foods. While pilaf with chickpeas and fried liver are sold in Istanbul, it is necessary to mention liver kebab prepared hot in a food stand only early in mornings in Antakya. Liver kebab is a breakfast that is generally sought in winters. This type of breakfast, however, is seen in places where tradesmen population is intensive. Another food sold by street vendors is bezirgan kebab, which is a wrap generally consists of boiled eggs and spring onions. An important part of the street vendors consists of dessert and candy sellers. These vendors, however, do not serve for breakfast, but they appear after 10:00 o’clock. These include şam tatlısı [Damascus dessert], züngül, yazın haytalı (bici – bici), şerbetçiler [sherbet sellers] (made of licorice root), cevizli (walnut and sugar mixture), sakızlı (a kind of candy where candy is softened in cold water bath, and then, sesame is put on the candy), Gaz-lil-Benat (cotton candy), toffee apple, ice cream sellers, bagel sellers, sarı bülbül (boiled chickpea). Boiled chickpea is offered by street vendors ready to be served hot in a rectangular glass container of which lid is opened from the top in afternoons. In general, the vendor calls out as “sarı bülbül” [“yellow nightingale”] or “sarı bülbül geldi” [“yellow nightingale is here”] for selling chickpea to the public.

Licorice sherbet, which is also offered during summers at noon and in afternoons, is an indispensible beverage of street vendors. This sherbet that is generally prepared as cooled and offered in a special container with an apparatus, on which glasses are lined up and tied on to the belly of the vendor. The vendor used to make a sound with two nested bowls in his hand. Licorice sherbet has always been one of the most important beverages of Antakya for a long time. In addition, banana (aromatic) sherbet was also sold. As it was a more expensive beverage, it could never replace licorice sherbet.

“Ramadan Halvah” sold in Ramadan is a specific dessert. It is only made in Ramadan are lined up on a tray and sold by street vendors. The main ingredients of halvah are gypsophila, sugar, citric acid and sesame.

Ice cream is another dessert that has a cooling effect and is sold in summers. Handmade ice creams are prepared in the morning. In the mid-afternoons, we hear the voices of ice cream sellers with special stands calling out “salep and lemon”. When we heard their voice, we would understand that we could have vanilla ice cream or lemon ice cream.

An important street food in afternoons is “afternoon bagel”. This kind of bagel, which is also made nowadays, is a crispy bagel -of which top and bottom is roasted- with a soft inner part. This bagel used to be made of dough fermented with chickpea yeast. Chickpea yeast is a kind of custom-made yeast. Afternoon bagel’s odor and taste is also different as the inner part of the bagel does not get dry because of chickpea yeast and its odor is different than any other yeast. Speaking of chickpea yeast, sea biscuit  –which does not lose its crispy taste for a long time- (now called “Etimek”) was also made with this yeast. These are materials that are also sold by street vendors.

In autumn, pomegranate fruit appears. Pomegranate juice sales used to continue until orange appeared. Then, orange juice would be sold instead of pomegranate juice. Nowadays, these vendors disappeared.

In winters, roasted chestnut sellers used to sell by sitting in general. Nowadays, roasted chestnut sellers continue to peddle. In summary, Antakya cuisine is also conveyed to the streets and they convey its richness so well that there are specific morning and afternoon foods as well as summer and winter specific foods including desserts and syrup. Salep, bagel, pumpkin dessert and many others…

 

I SUPPORT HATAY’S GASTRONOMY CANDIDACY TO THE UNESCO CREATIVE CITIES NETWORK.

  1. Ünal KAHRAMAN – Food Engineer – Project Advisor

Highlands

Highland of Belen (Sogukoluk)

Transportation: You climb a curvy  paved road of 8 km surrounded with the greenery and forests on both sides after diverting from Belen District – Sarımazı neighborhood turnout.

There are public transport minibuses available in Belen and Iskenderun that you may choose for accessing to the highlands.

Characteristics: Highland tradition continues for centuries in Guzelyayla. Infrastructure problems are partially solved, and the proximity of the highland to the sea increases the interest of the people.

Serving as viewing terrace of Iskenderun Bay, the highland is habitable location with the ballads and poems written on its name together with its old and new types of houses constructed among the pine trees and wild flowers.

Camping, picnicking and short trips in the forest are the primary activities for the people visiting the highland.

Accommodation- Dining: There are pensions and restaurants available in the highland for accommodation and dining purposes.

 

İskenderun – Nergizlik Highland

Transportation: The highland is accessed with 14 km long paved road from Iskenderun. It is located 4km distance from Guzelyayla.

Characteristics: It is a highland village where the infrastructure problem is partially solved. all kinds of vegetables and fruits are grown on the highland where simple traditional village houses are blended with specialized highland houses constructed as the second house of the families.

Accommodation- Dining: Highland houses may be rented through booking beforehand.

 

Samandağ – Teknepınarı (Batıayaz) Highland

Transportation: The highland is accessed with 20 km paved road from Antakya or 17 km stabilized road from Samandag district.

Characteristics: It is a highland village blended with history and nature. The highland is in the focus of domestic visitors and international visitors from Middle East countries with its ice-cold crystal waters in camping and picnic areas, all kinds of vegetables and fruits of the Mediterranean region, its proximity to the Middle East.

Accommodation- Dining: There are dining facilities and camping sites in the highland.

 

Erzin – Kocadüz – Üçkoz – Bağrıaçık – Karıncalı Highlands

Transportation: Erzin Highland can be accessed via 11 km of paved road and 8 km of stabilized road. In months of summer, it is possible to reach the highland from Erzin district via the minibuses that departs in every hour of the day.

Characteristics: It is a group of highlands mostly preferred by people of Erzin and Osmaniye districts in summer months where simple highland houses blended with natural texture among the pine trees and fir trees. Highlands located close to each other are suitable for trekking. The highlands are entirely covered with pine trees, juniper, fir, thyme, chamomile and other wildflowers.

Accommodation- Dining: The highland houses are properties of the local people. The people wishing to camp in the highland should bring their tents and basic materials together with them.

 

Dörtyol Topraktaş Highland

Transportation: The highland is accessed via 18 km of stabilized road from Hatay.

Characteristics: Completely intertwined with the forest, Topaktas highland is completely covered with pine, juniper and scrubs.

People of Dörtyol accommodates in the summer months in the highland having wooden houses and concrete houses together.

Accommodation- Dining: The highland houses are properties of the local people. The people wishing to camp in the highland should bring their tents and basic materials together with them.

 

Dörtyol – Çökek Highland

Transportation: The highland is accessed via 8 km of stabilized road from Dortyol district.

Characteristics: established among the pine and fruit trees, the highland is an ideal for camping, picnicking, and short trips in the forest with its clean air and plenty of water.

Accommodation- Dining: There is not construction in the highland. The campers should bring  their tents and basic supplies with them if they wish to camp in this beautiful highland.

 

Kırıkhan Delibekirli Köyü and Çataloluk Highland

Transportation: You should first reach to Delibekirli Village using 3 km paved road followed by another 3 km of stabilized road. Çataloluk highland is located at 7 km distance to the Village.

Characteristics: Delibekirli Village is a charming highland village set among gardens and vineyards where all kinds of fruits and vegetables of the Mediterranean region grow. Çataloluk Highland, reached via 7 km stabilized road from Delibekirli Village is completely untouched.

The highland surrounded with monumental plane trees also supplies drinking water of Kirikhan district (from Unguzlu region). The highland is worth of visiting and seeing.

Accommodation- Dining: There are daily dining facilities, restaurants and coffee houses in Delibekirli village.

 

Kırıkhan – Alan Highland

Transportation: Asagi Esmisek Koyu is reached when you drive to the west (to the left) from 6th km of Hatay – Kırıkhan – Gazi Antep road, followed by 2 km of paved road and 2 km of stabilized road.
After the village, 8 km of curvy stabilized road surrounded with scrubs leads you to Alan Highland. At the same time, it is connected to Iskenderun by a stabilization route of 40 km.

Characteristics: The surrounding area is covered with pine forests and spread over a very wide area, covered with flowers in summer. The highland, which is completely untouched except for a few highland houses, is considered as an agricultural area by the surrounding villagers.

The highlands of Haymapınar, Değirmendere, Paşaoluk, Akarca and Çamlıbel on Iskenderun road are used by the people of Iskenderun and surrounding villages.

Accommodation- Dining: The highland houses are properties of the local people. The people wishing to camp in the highland should bring their tents and basic materials together with them.

 

Belen İlçesi ve Atık Highland

Transportation:
The road to the village is diverted from the 27th kilometer of Antakya – Iskenderun road.

Characteristics: Belen highland that is a district today has been used as a highland for centuries.

Atık highland that is starting point of Atık spring famous for people of Iskenderun and Kırıkhan is a neighborhood of Belen district.

There are groceries and coffee houses in the highland that is located among the pine, plane trees and fruit gardens. The highland attracts the people due to its greenery area and proximity to the coasts of the sea.

Accommodation- Dining: There are accommodation facilities, restaurants and dining facilities in the highland.

Picnic Areas

 

Teknepınar (Batıayaz) Area

The picnic area is accessed with 20 km paved road from Antakya or 17 km stabilized road from Samandag district.  It is a highland village blended with history and nature. The village is in the focus of domestic visitors and international visitors from Middle East countries with its ice-cold crystal waters in camping and picnic areas, all kinds of vegetables and fruits of the Mediterranean region, its proximity to the Middle East. There are dining facilities and camping sites in the highland.

 

Nergizlik Picnic Area

It is located 4 km away from Belen-Güzelyayla and is connected to İskenderun by asphalt road. There are electricity, telephone and drinking water system available.

 

Belen-Güzelyayla (Soğukoluk) Picnic Area

The picnic area can be reached from a winding route where greenery and forest are dominant starting from 8 km paved road between Belen District-Sarımazı Neighborhood. There are public transport minibuses available in Belen and Iskenderun that you may choose for accessing to the highlands. Highland tradition continues for centuries in Guzelyayla. Infrastructure problems are partially solved, and the area attracts the people as it is close to the sea. Serving as viewing terrace of Iskenderun Bay, the highland is habitable location with the ballads and poems written on its name together with its old and new types of houses constructed among the pine trees and wild flowers. It is convenient for camping, picnic, short trips in the forest.

There are pensions and restaurants available in the highland for accommodation and dining purposes.

 

Erzin- Kocadüz- Üçkoz- Bağrıaçık-Karıncalı Picnic Area

It is a group of highlands mostly preferred by people of Erzin and Osmaniye districts in summer months where simple highland houses blended with natural texture among the pine trees and fir trees. Highlands located close to each other are suitable for trekking. The highlands are entirely covered with pine trees, juniper, fir, thyme, chamomile and other wildflowers. The highland houses are properties of the local people.

 

Belen District and Atık Picnic Area

Atık highland that is starting point of Atık spring famous for people of Iskenderun and Kırıkhan is a village of Belen district. There are groceries and coffee houses in the highland that is located among the pine, plane trees and fruit gardens. The highland attracts the people due to its greenery area and proximity to the coasts of the sea. There are accommodation facilities, restaurants and dining facilities in the highland.

 

Kırıkhan Delibekirli Köyü and Çataloluk Picnic Area

Delibekirli Village is a charming highland village set among gardens and vineyards where all kinds of fruits and vegetables of the Mediterranean region grow. Çataloluk highland is located at 7 km distance to the Village. The village surrounded with monumental plane trees provides drinking water of Kırıkhan district (from Unguzlu area). The highland is worth of visiting and seeing. There are daily dining facilities, restaurants and coffee houses in Delibekirli village.

 

Alan Highland (Kırıkhan) Picnic Area

It is located 18 km from Kırıkhan district. It is very famous with its air quality, water and its nature.

The highland surrounded entirely with pine forests, spreading out over a very wide area with all its beauty.

At the same time, it is connected to the town of Iskenderun by a stabilization route of 40 km.

The highlands of Haymapinar, Değirmendere, Paşaoluk, Akarca and Çamlıbel on this road are used by the people of Iskenderun and surrounding villages.

Those who want to camp and have a picnic in the highland blossoming thousand flowers in spring time should take all their needs with them.

 

Dörtyol (Çökek) Highland Picnic Area

It is reached by a 16 km stabilized road surrounded with pine, juniper and scrubs intertwined with the forest.

The people of Dörtyol accommodate in the highland especially in the summer where you may find wooden highland architecture and the concrete houses together. Those who want to camp, have a picnic or go on a hike should take their tents, sleeping bags and food with them.

Müftüler Picnic Area E-91 International Road is only 4 km to the village from Sarımazı Neighbourhood.

The picnic area in Güzelyayla (Soğukoluk) Antuan region provides the needs of the people with its picnic areas, common wc and washbasins and dishwashing benches.

Dried Foods

Dried Foods

For centuries, people came up with different methods with the desire to use the foods they obtain for longer periods. The oldest and natural one of these methods is drying. Although people also adopted cooking and salting, drying is the most important storing method. Hatay cuisine is rich in dried fruits and vegetables.

Jams and brined storing methods can also be seen. In Hatay cuisine, many fruits and vegetables such as wheat, fig, mulberry, helichrysum, jujube, apple, black eyed pea, eggplant, and tomato are stored to be used in desserts and jams. Fresh yogurt is dried by boiling with salt in cauldrons with wood fire, and stored to be used in winter dishes and breakfasts.

There is no dried meat in Hatay cuisine. Instead, there is fried meat. It is one of the storage methods. Meats diced in Sacrifice Feast are fired in lots of tail fat, and stored after filled in pots and large earthenware jugs.

And fresh herbs such as Thyme and Basil are dried and used as spices. The local blue cheese is made by mixing the fresh cottage cheese with spices.

Tandoor

Tandoori comes from the word tennur. Dictionary description of tennur is an oven, a stove. In Turkish, Tennur is used as tandoori. In Ottoman Turkish, tennur means stove, and this culture originated from Egypt.

Tandoori making is hard and tedious, requiring not art but knowledgeand skill. Firstly, special clayed soil is provided from special locations, carefully sifted, and turned into mud by adding straw, goat hair or cotton. It is kept for one day and then remoulded.

The mud is cylinder-shaped thick enough to stroll a 7-8cm thick diameter, and then braided. But the delicate point here is that the hole tandoori is not braided at once. It is left for drying from time to time. It is braided slowly and by leaving for drying in order to avoid skews and dents. It is harder to make or braid tandoori in winters. Lastly, opening of the tandoori is made, and left for getting dry.

Tandoori mud must be well moulded. Otherwise it will break down quickly, and will not provide the desired efficiency. Firstly, at least a 1 meter deep tandoori pit is dug at the place where tandoori will be set. Since it will be covered with mud, it is prepared extremely clean, and event with a coherent soil like clay; and it can event be kept that way for a few days. Dried mud is is shaped into cylinders, and coated onto the pit by attaching top down. A hole for ventilation is definitely made during the process.
White setting up the tandoori, firstly the bury location is picked.

Here, it is buried in ground level. Depth of tandooris dug on the ground is 130-150cm. And their diameter is approximately 50-65cm. Tondoor bread is name after where it is made. The most important characteristics of the bread is that it can be stored for a long time without going bad. There is a 20x20cm little vent at the bottom of tandoori.

This lets air in and keeps the fire burning. Tandoori flue must be set from the deepest point of tandoori with 90 degrees. If the large jar will be buried under ground, measurements against water leakages must be taken.

This leakage can be both harmful to human health and it will use an important portion of the heat in the tandoori for evaporation, which will cool down the tandoori. The ash pit must be cast iron. For ventilation and flue, fire bricks must be used. Base of the tandoori is filled with glass and salt, so that it won’t cool down quickly after the fire goes out.

Tandoori Bread is the regional bread of Hatay. Tandoori bread dough is generally prepared with yeast, and the large and oval-shaped sourdough is attached to the tandoori wall with a cushion called kera. When tandoori is fired up for the first time, buns and pita with fillings are baked.

Someone who knows how to use a tandoori is necessary for baking bread in tandoori. As baking the bread, being able to bear the fire, and attach the bread to tandoori requires skill. This duty is generally assumed by mothers, elders of the family. If the dough is not well-attached to tandoori, or not well-leavened will cause the bread fall into the fire without sticking onto the wall of the tandoori. In such cases, the bread won’t have the desired shape, and will be misshaped and scorched.

Tablecloth, kneading board, olive oil, some water and the cushion called kera, which make the bread stick on the wall of the tandoori, are kept by the tandoori. Women gather woods and cow dungs, and line up by tandooris early in the morning to bake bread. Baked breads left to cool down, and then covered with tablecloth and stored this way.

Women make enough bread for their weekly or monthly needs. Breads with seasonings and peppers are also baked in tandooris. During Ramadan, buns with or without fillings are baked in tandooris

Sürk and Carra Cheese

Sürk and Carra Cheese

“Sürk”, meaning cottage cheese in Arabic, is a taste specific to Hatay, and has a peculiar making process. Ingredients of the blue cottage cheese are; fresh cottage cheese, olive oil, black pepper, basil leaves, flaked pepper, clove, thyme, pimento, cinnamon, cumin, nutmeg, garlic and hot pepper paste.

There are regional cottage cheese types such as Hatay Tumulus cottage cheese and Antakya Thyme Carra Cottage Cheese (ÜNSAL, 2000). Cottage cheese is stored after being a little salted so that it endures for a long period of time. Cottage cheese is more made at homes with traditional methods, and thus there isn’t a standard in cottage cheese.
Cottage cheese making method is this; milk obtained through normal ways are left to souring a day before making the cottage cheese.

Soured milk is left for settling on the oven at a moderate temperature (40-45°C). A lemon is squeezed or lemon salt is added in order to accelerate the process. The water inside slowly evaporates, and sediments subside. Sediments formed are taken into filter clothes and let the water be filtered by hanging on a high position.
After being well-filtered, cottage cheese is taken out of the clothes, salted and generally consumed fresh. Sometimes, it is salted and stuffed into air-tight jars or animal skins to be consumed later on, and consumed after being kept in a cool place for 3-4 months (KAMBER, 2005).

It is consumed in breakfasts, in salads or solely minced in extra-virgin olive oil. The mixture prepared is shaped by hand, laid on a tray with gaps between them, and dried for 3-4 days in a shadowy place with a cheesecloth on it.

Storks prepared are consumed fresh or after molded for 20-25 days in a shadowy place at the ambient temperature (BERKAY-KARACA and GÜVEN, 2009). Suleiman the Magnificent fed his army with the antiseptic and antibiotic featured blue cottage cheese in 14th century so that soldiers have resistance and a strong immune system.

Carra Cheese is more often made of goat’s milk, and when there is inadequate or no goat’s milk available, cow’s milk is also used. It is a cheese type that is made of 1 kg cottage cheese, 1 kg salt-free fresh cheese, and black sesame. Fresh cheese is cut into pieces just a bit larger than a matchbox, and salted a lot.

It is kept for a day so that it releases its water. Cottage and cheese are separately mixed with the desired amount of black sesame. Firstly some salt, and than a handful of prepared cottage cheese is added into the pottery jugs called “Carra”, and the cottage cheese is pressed down with a fist. More cottage cheese is added after a layer of prepared cheese added on top of the pressed cottage.
This must be repeated until the jug is air-tight full. Fully loaded jugs are turned upside down in a suitable place, and kept there for 3-4 days so that excess water is leaked. Then, a handful of salt and thyme must be added on top of the jug, and the jug must be closed with a cloth.

Some salt, wood ash, some olive oil and water must be mixed in a pot, and the opening of the jug must be fully covered with this mixture. After this mixture dries up, just must be buried in a cool place upside down, or kept in a fridge for 3 months, so that it becomes mellow (BERKAY-KARACA and GÜVEN, 2009).