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Flavors of Cappadocia

Cappadocia Village Home Cooking Experience


Brekfasts in Cappadocia are a very different experience: village butter, potted cheese, drained and concentrated yogurt, fresh eggs and honey in addition to the grape  molasses and marmalades you can spread on hotcakes made with various fresh herbs…


The pumpkin seeds from the Nevşehir region that are consumed in generous quantites by the local population are considered the most delicious in Central Anatolia. Walnuts, almonds and apricots are among the favorites of the variety of dried fruits and nuts that adorn the table after the evening meals. And you can enjoy compotes made from the dried fruits of the region as well.

In Cappadocia you will become acquainted with all the specialties of Central Anatoliann cuisine in addition to the ew cuisine cultures that have been developed by the people from Turkey and other corners of the world who have come and settled here. It is a lovely surprise for foreign visitors to  discover in the hotel restaurants of Cappadocia this amalgam of Turkish and world cuisine.

Cappadocia cuisie has experienced the influence of many different cultures, and foods such as wheat, dried cracked wheat, noodles and ravioli, as well as legumes such as beans, chickpeas and lentils and the pita-like variety of local bread play an important role.

Fruits such as grapes, apricots, strawberries, apples, pears and quince are used both in main dishes and desserts. Pumpkin adds flavor to molasses as well as hot dishes. The grape cider that is prepared in dedicated cider rooms in the home is also very popular. Grapes and pears are arranged o thorny branches and preserved in pantries and fruitcellars for use in winter.

In old homes the tandouri oven had a number of different functions; it was used to heat the house as well as to bake bread and other foods. The old custom of slowly cooking dried beans or chickpeas with meat in an earthenware crock for about six hours is oe of the first of the regional specialties that comes to mind.
Another regional speciality is yarma aşı which cann be cold or warm eaten in summer.


Nevşehir  Mantısı (a ravioli-like local spencialty): Unlike the mantı we are accustomed to, the pieces of dough should be small enough to fit a few of them in a spoon. Also, they are generally served with boiled chickpeas on the side. There is also a type of meatless mantı known as muhacir matısı that is made by mixing fried onions with leavened dough, and is eaten with garlic-infused yogurt poured over it.
Tıranenik: A special regional dish made with tarhana, (a sun-dried soup mix composed of yogurt,to mato and flour) and molasses.
Pastırmalı Börek: pastırma, a type of cured spiced beef, is very well liked i this region that is so close to Kayseri, the city of pastırma. The  pastırm is enfoleded in a sheet of yufka, thi pastery dough, and fried in oil. Another  special dish is humus made with pastırma.
Kıymalı sigara böreği: A savory pastry made with ground meat, it is prepared with many different spices.
Çömlek kebabı: Meat, and a variety of vegetables icluding potatoes, eggplant and tometoes are cooked in an When the time comes fort he dish to be served, the mouth of the crock is broken. Another specialty is köfte (meatballs) cooked in a sauce in an earthenware crock.
Peynirli biftek: In the Ihlara valley, a piece of beefsteak is pounded flat and grilled with a filling of regional cheese, black pepper and thyme.
Kuzu tandır and kuzu çevirme: Lamb roasted in a tandouri oven or on a spit can be found in almost every corner of the  region. Kuzu beli is another lamb dish that is a regional specialty.
Saç tava: A large sheet-metal skillet is set over the tadouri oven, and meat cut ito small pieces is sauteed along with  eggplant, tomatoes, green peppers, garlic and thyme.
Ayvalı et yahnisi (meat stewed with quince): The quinces are peeled and left to soak in water with lemon juice added while onions are fried in oil. Pieces of lamba re then cooked with the onions, quince, salt, suger and cinnamon; the dish is served with homemade noodles.
Kayısılı et yahnisi(meat stewed with apricots): The pieces of lamba re placed in an earthenware crock along a variety of small apricot called ’bitirge’; molasses is then poured over it before cooking it in the crock.
Çömlek fasulyesi: Dried beans are cooked in a crock along with lamb, tomatoes, peppers and plentiful spices.
Ermeni yahnisi : A type of stewed  beans with cinamon and onions.
Patlıcan dolması: Aubergines are stuffed with rice, onions, parsley, raisins and spices that are particular to the region. There is also a regional dish called ‘tık tık ‘ that cosists of a aubergine salad.
Tavuklu yemekler, or chicken dishes: Chicken stuffed with spinach, walnuts and cheese; spinach and chicken in pastry; chicken with almond sauce… are just a few of the special dishes of Cappadocia cuisine.
Kora papareni: Pastry sheets are moistened with chicken boulilon and chicken  and  walnuts are placed over it. It is eaten alongside another type of börek or savory pastry dish called ‘fasulnik’.
Deveci pilavı, or ‘camelherder pilaf’:  This is a typical bulgur pilaf dish that has been made since the days whe caravans passed through Anatolia. First the onions are fried and then brought to a boil with water, tomatoes, salt  and pepper before the bulgur  is added. It is served with garlic yogurt and flaked red pepper.
Patates köftesi: These potato rissoles are made with a variety of potato called’kıraç’ and only made with rainwater. Some of the most flavorful potatoes in Turkey are raised in the Cappadocia region.
Çorbalar, or soup: Among  the fascinating  veriety of regional soups are one called ‘Düğü’ that is made with fine bulgur, chickpea soup, creamed leek soup, sesame oil soup, and carrot soup.
Boran aşı: Wheat and chickpeas are cooked together with butter, yogurt and cheese, and sprinkled with a spice called ‘yarpuz’.
Kaşıtsi:
A dessert made with molasses and starch