Sherbet is one of the most important elements of Ottoman cuisine. Made with flower petals, herbs and spices mixed with fruit, sherbet was not only the preferred refreshment of the sultans, but it was also a drink enjoyed by the people.
Although sherbet is not a drink that you can find everywhere now, it is still a popular drink, especially during Ramadan. To keep the sherbet culture alive, Trakya University in Edirne, a former Ottoman capital, initiated a project with the Thrace Development Agency and restored an old house to convert it into a "Sherbet House."
The house, located in the Karaağaç district, offers its visitors a variety of sherbets made with traditional Ottoman-era recipes. The sherbet is also made in the house's kitchen, which allows visitors to see the process and even participate in it. The sherbet bearers in their traditional costumes offer visitors a taste of each sherbet and take them on a journey into the past.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency (AA), Trakya University chancellor and professor Erhan Tabakoğlu explained that sherbets held an important place not only in Ottoman cuisine but also in old medical books as they were considered a source of healing.
"Although our sherbets have health benefits, many still prefer unhealthy sodas or juices. We can keep these sherbets alive by featuring them on our dinner tables. Visitors to the Sherbet House will be able to buy these sherbets and take them home," Tabakoğlu added.
Project coordinator Nilgün Tabakoğlu, on the other hand, said they have recipes for 350 different sherbets in their inventory and will offer them to the visitors according to the season.
Tabakoğlu underlined that the Sherbet House will be a place where Ottoman cuisine will be kept alive as well as the sherbets and said: "There is an old train car in our garden, and we plan to take reservations for dinners where Ottoman cuisine will be served. We also plan to offer an Ottoman-style breakfast to our visitors," Tabakoğlu added.
Along with its refreshing taste, sherbet also has many health benefits, including helping lower cholesterol, weight management, aiding digestion, regulating blood pressure and preventing thyroid-related issues. It makes skin smoother and is very effective in removing radiation from the body. Sherbet is a blend of many fruits and spices, which makes it a remarkable antioxidant as well.