Students from Bursa Zübeyde Hanım Vocational and Technical Anatolian High School's Food and Beverage Department have revived 10 local dishes that were close to being forgotten. The initiative was part of a Ministry of Youth and Sports project called, "Food is Culture, Presentation is Art."
As part of the project, students are learning how to cook 10 regional dishes from local women in 10 different villages.
The students learned to cook "şevketi bostan" (a dish cooked with Cnicus Benedictus) in the Kumyaka neighborhood of Mudanya district. They were helped by the members of a women's association from the village.
They will also learn how to cook Grama halva, yumurta dolması (a stuffed dish with eggs), mıhlıca meatballs, Hıdırellez soup, chestnut güveç, söbüce soup, köbete, yamrulu yumrulu flour meatballs and cennet künkü dessert at some of the other villages in Bursa.
School vice principal, Ümit Sadık Kurşun told Anadolu Agency (AA) that the project will help preserve these dishes and the recipes for future generations. "We had planned a project called 'Let's learn cooking' and it was accepted the Ministry of Youth and Sports. Now we run the project with donations from the minister," he said.
Kurşun added that the hardest part of the project was selecting the dishes.
"First, we chose 10 dishes from 10 villages with the help of the metropolitan municipality's Bursa Research Center. After that, we contacted the village headmen and informed them about our project. At the end of the training, the students will prepare the 10 dishes and present them to guests. It has been exciting for all of us. We have also documented a lot of information about the cultures of the villages we visited. The students say they have enjoyed this project a lot."
'Şevketİ bostan is something special for us'
The Kumyaka Women's Solidarity Association president, Arife Korkmaz said that şevketi bostan is a dish that has its roots in Mediterranean and Cretan cuisine.
Korkmaz added that şevketi bostan (Cnicus Benedictus) is a thorny plant. "This dish is so delicious. It is something special for us. We love to cook it. The root of this plant is so important. We take the root from the soil with a pickaxe and adz. It tastes delicious and contains a lot of vitamins. We cook the dish with lamb meat after we clean the root and the thorns. We offer this dish to our guests in this season. It comes from the Mediterranean and Cretan cuisine. My mother-in-law and father-in-law were from Cretan. I learned how to cook this dish from my mother-in-law."
'The students learned how to cook the dish'
Korkmaz said that lamb meat is very important for şevketi bostan. "We fry the lamb with onion. Then, we add the Cnicus Benedictus to and cook it for about an hour. After that, we squeeze a little lemon on it and add some flour to cook a little more. The students learned how to cook the dish so well. They learned to pick the thorns the traditional way. We cooked it together. It was delicious."
'We try to offer what we saw on our tables'
Eleventh-grader Cansu Nizam said they were working to revive Bursa's local dishes. "We learned to cook these dishes from the local villagers. We visited them learned a lot of things from them. We also tasted a lot of different dishes. I hope we can preserve these recopies for the future generations," she said.