It is that time of the year again when you can enjoy some sweet mesir and reboot your health with this 500-year-old recipe.
Turkey's second-oldest festival, the Mesir Festival in the western province of Manisa starts today.
The former home of a number of Ottoman princes, Manisa will welcome thousands of tourists from around Turkey and the world to enjoy centuries-old traditions that are listed as pieces of Intangible Cultural Heritage by UNESCO.
Mesir would not be as famous as it is today if it were not for an Ottoman queen and a local physician. Ayşe Hafsa Sultan, the mother of Suleiman the Magnificent, contacted Merkez Efendi when she contracted a seemingly incurable disease.
Merkez Efendi, a physician and custodian at Manisa Sultan Mosque, went on to prepare the fabled paste with 41 different spices and managed to heal the queen.
She was so pleased when she found the treatment that she ordered free delivery of the paste to the public, a tradition that in time evolved into the festiva, which is popular up to today. The 479th Mesir Festival will continue until April 28. This year some 6 tons of mesir will be distributed among festival-goers for free. Throughout the festival, the visitors will not just enjoy this sweet miracle but learn more about the history of the city and mesir. There will also be activities for people of all ages.
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