“We only realize we have not noticed how rich we are when we begin to discover our treasures.” The experts who accept Turkish cuisine to be amongst the world’s top cuisines judge only with the criteria known to everyone. On the other hand, the richness of regional cuisines, which are not yet discovered or registered, is as rich as the Anatolian civilizations. These civilizations have molded Anatolian treasures for more than 2000 years.
Antalya, located to the south of the Anatolian plateau between the range of the Taurus Mountains and the coastline of the Mediterranean Sea, is home to both the nomadic (YORUK) and Mediterranean cultures at the same time. Antalya, thanks to its geographical situation, not only combines the scent of thyme of the Taurus Mountains with the Mediterranean Sea, but at the same time blends the eating habits of nomads and Mediterranean cultures and gives a special spirit to its flavors. We realized that we have kept this treasure inside of us, since it cannot be investigated or registered.
Food symbolizes the culture. The kitchen is the treasure of a fundamental culture, food cannot be seen as only something to be cooked in the kitchen which needs to be consumed, and it also shows the living style and the knowledge of the societies.
Gökçen Adar, a researcher on kitchen culture says “an eating culture which combines olive, wheat and grapes exists only in the Mediterranean area.” Yoghurt, the main flavor of the nomads is added to Antalya’s cuisine. Antalya’s cuisine has also adopted sesame (tahini) and garlic which are typical elements of the Arabian kitchen.
The discussions about the healthy kitchen in our modern time makes Antalya’s kitchen with its mainly vegetable based items, big varieties of sea food and jams made of citrus fruits become more known to the world.
The powder obtained from the shells of the bergamot fruit mixed with black tea gives an aromatic taste of the world famous “Earl Grey” tea. Taurus thyme growing on Taurus Mountains can be drunk as tea, while thyme water is used for the lowering of cholesterol. Herbalists in Antalya are becoming more and more famous with their natural herbal remedies.
In populated centers of Antalya there are plenty of restaurants serving Anatolian meals and international cuisines that suit every budget.