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Turkey: A Pinch of Anatolia with Food anthropologist Musa Dagdeviren

“To save the world people should take back ownership over their culinary traditions to avoid the exclusive status of food”

Rediscovering the tastes of Anatolia:

Some might neglect the importance of food and local culinary tradition, but not Musa Dagdeviren. He is an avid culinary admirer that has been spreading his passion for Turkish food around the world. This passion for food grew since his childhood, he has travelled around the country to learn and collect traditional Turkish recipes. Described as the saviour of Turkish cuisine his influence grew in 2018. The years he took part in the fifth season of Chef’s table, a culinary show on Netflix create by David Gelb a passionate of traditional food and its practices.

Further than rediscovering the tastes of Anatolia, he believes that food should lead to a connection between people and their heritage. Traditional foods and recipes come from ancestors, the vehicles of local culture. The food anthropologist emphasis the importance of remembering traditions.

Anatolia is a term that regroups not only Turkey as a country but also all the local ethnic groups within it, including Armenians, Kurdish and even Greeks. Each recipe that Musa Dağdeviren finds comes from these different communities and each of them has a specific meaning. He explains to the public his encounters with them. Firstly, he mentioned the Greek culinary tradition called Koliva, is made when a burial takes place in a village. It is made of wheat and is in a shape of a cross. The tradition is to give one spoonful on the grave of the person who died and the rest of the Koliva is eaten by the people present at the burial. He then talks abouta a Kurdish tradition, which consists in giving hot oil to a lady who had just given birth, for her milk to be better. Other culinary dishes are used for religious purposes, like prayers to request for Sun or Rain.

All dishes have reasons, places and times to be consumed, he adds, they bring different cultures together. But this trend is not exclusive to Anatolia, all countries should get closer to their local traditions. He informs us that in order to save the world people should take ownership over tradition to avoid the exclusive status of food.

Natalia Vasnier, Undergraduate King's College London

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