Food

Half-forgotten traditional flavor of Turkey’s Hatay ‘kurkaz’ revives

Half-forgotten traditional flavor of Turkey’s Hatay ‘kurkaz’ revives

Monitoring Desk

HATAY: Having been included in the list of gastronomy cities by UNESCO, Hatay’s traditional dish “kurkaz” is offered to locals and foreign tourists in the 250-year-old historical mansion. The dish, which sinks into oblivion in the last century, rises from its ashes in Turkey.

Wild yam, which is the main ingredient of the kurkaz dish, is extracted from the ground while growing in wetlands. The roots of this plant are considered of high value in ancient cultures for their healing properties. Attracting attention with its ginger-like appearance rather than a regular apple, the wild yam offers a unique flavor, a combination of the past and future.

Raw wild yam, Hatay, Turkey, March 29, 2022. (IHA Photo)
Raw wild yam, Hatay, Turkey, March 29, 2022. (IHA Photo)

UNESCO Hatay Gastronomy House Director İpek Aslan stated that they offer all the indispensable dishes of Hatay, which are long forgotten, to their guests at Hatay Gastronomy House.

UNESCO Hatay Gastronomy House Director İpek Aslan, Hatay, Turkey, March 29, 2022. (IHA Photo)
UNESCO Hatay Gastronomy House Director İpek Aslan, Hatay, Turkey, March 29, 2022. (IHA Photo)

“As UNESCO Hatay Gastronomy House, we continue to work on regaining the forgotten dishes. Kurkaz, known as yams is one of them. We continue to serve all these dishes for seven days in our 250-year-old historical mansion. We have completed our third year in our gastronomy house, where local and foreign tourists can find all the delicacies of the region. Throughout the process, we added more than 400 dishes to our menu.” she told to Ihlas News Agency (IHA) reporter.

UNESCO Hatay Gastronomy House Chef Süleyman Demirel, Hatay, Turkey, March 29, 2022. (IHA Photo)
UNESCO Hatay Gastronomy House Chef Süleyman Demirel, Hatay, Turkey, March 29, 2022. (IHA Photo)

Highlighting that she is carrying a tradition through “kurkaz,” which has an ancient history, Hatay Gastronomy House chef Süleyman Demirel gave some tips from his local secret recipe. “It can be made with olive oil and meat. We fry the onions with butter, add the meat after it is well roasted. Then we add tomato paste and the peeled wild yams. You can use spices if desired. We serve it after leaving it to boil for a few minutes.” he said.

Courtesy: Dailysabah

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