A festival in northern Turkey's Samsun province in the Black Sea region gave locals the opportunity to present regional dishes homemade from 96 types of plants gathered from the native flora.
The Herbal Foods Festival, which runs through Sunday, was organized by the Samsun Tourism Professionals Foundation.
One dish featured at the festival was prepared by a group of chefs who used 55 different types of plants to provide the final product.
Samsun Governor Osman Kaymak said at the festival that the Black Sea region has a very rich culture regarding herbal dishes.
"There are 1,878 kinds of edible plants in Samsun," said Kaymak, adding that the city should maximize its potential regarding this richness.
Kaymak said the recent trend away from preserved and packaged foods and toward natural foods should be encouraged.
Due to its climate and geographical positioning, Turkey is home to over 10,000 plant species, a third of which are endemic. Many of these plants are edible and have medicinal properties.
Anatolian civilizations have been well versed in the traditional knowledge of using plants as food and medicine since the Paleolithic era. The tradition of gathering wild edible greens continues in villages throughout Turkey and constitutes an integral component of Turkish cuisine.
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