Are you up for trying new food? Well, it is time to hop on a ferry and travel to Bozcaada, Turkey's most scenic island, for the ninth annual Bozcaada International Festival of Local Tastes.
The festival, scheduled to take place between Sept. 21 and 23, will host numerous workshops for those who want to recreate the island's local cuisine in their own kitchen. The event will also host stalls where guests can try local specialties and live performances by Turkish artists. International and local chefs along with restaurants and cafes will also join in the fun, with some offering three-day tasting menus showcasing local cuisine.
The third-largest island in Turkey, once known as Tenedos, Bozcaada is situated in the Dardanelles where the Marmara and Aegean Sea meet. The island is an agricultural haven known for its luscious grapes, fresh fish, red poppies and local produce, on which their famed local cuisine is based.
If you are planning to head to Bozcaada for the festival, it is better to get acquainted with the local flavors and main ingredients of the local cuisine of the island ahead of time.
A taste of Bozcaada
Olive oil: Olive oil is heavily associated with Mediterranean and Aegean cuisine, so it is not surprising that it is the main ingredient of every dish made on the island. However, what makes Bozcaada's olive oil special is that the oil is made from olives that grow on the island. It is no wonder that this local olive oil is what gives Bozcaada's cuisine a unique and outstanding flavor.
Gum mastic cookies: It might shock you to see a cookie in this list but beware: Gum mastic is one of the favorite ingredients of the island's cuisine. The mastic tree is grown on the island, so the islanders use it as much as possible. Gum mastic cookies, on the other hand, are a signature snack, so make sure to get a box of cookies to go, as well.
Jams: It is hard to find organic jam if you are living in the city. You either have to make it at home or find it in an organic market nearby. But in Bozcaada, locals are masters at making the sweet treat. The islanders can turn everything that grows on the island into jam without adding preservatives. So if you want to add a traditional flavor of Bozcaada to your breakfast table, be sure to check out every jam at the stalls and take at least one home with you.