The world’s oldest dessert? – BBC Journey

I requested Capaptay to recall her and her household’s experiences with the traditions surrounding ashure, and she or he defined how the dish – which her mom served scorching utilizing a minimalist eight-ingredient recipe (wheat, sugar, sultanas, chickpeas, white beans, water, cinnamon and walnuts) – is synonymous with sharing, good […]

I requested Capaptay to recall her and her household’s experiences with the traditions surrounding ashure, and she or he defined how the dish – which her mom served scorching utilizing a minimalist eight-ingredient recipe (wheat, sugar, sultanas, chickpeas, white beans, water, cinnamon and walnuts) – is synonymous with sharing, good well being, and heat neighbourly relations.

“My earliest recollections of the making of the ashure are merely two. The primary one takes me again to the second of holding a bit of copper bucket full of a cinnamon/walnut combine and accompanying my mother who would have an enormous copper bucket of steaming scorching pudding and knock on our neighbours’ doorways. After my mom poured it into every neighbour’s bowl, as her busser, I might garnish the pudding. That is after all, a rural method of sharing it,” she informed me.

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“In Istanbul or in different cities, you’d use your individual bowls to share your ashure and garnish it earlier than you’re taking it round,” she added.

As a dessert with an historical historical past and cultural significance that outpaces most sweets, it was an intimidating topic to deal with. I opted to dive in spoon-first, which is why I wound up at Goreme, a long-time fixture within the Kurtuluş, traditionally a Greek neighbourhood that retains a cosmopolitan really feel and nonetheless has a big Armenian, Greek and Jewish inhabitants.

In step with that cultural affect, proprietor Ilhan Yalcin mentioned the store’s ashure recipe, devised by his grandfather, was based mostly on an Armenian chilly soup that might be described as an ashure variant. His model was on the straightforward aspect, however nonetheless boasted a plethora of substances: dried figs, dried apricots, raisins, chickpeas, white beans, oat berries, salt, rice starch, a sprinkle of crushed hazelnuts and a small quantity of turmeric, which lent a pleasing yellow hue. The sweetness was pure and never overbearing, with the apricot imparting a stunning tartness.

Dessert retailers are probably one of the best place for guests to search out ashure year-round, as I quickly discovered. I ended by the famend Ottoman restaurant Hunkar solely to search out out that it was obtainable the day earlier than however not throughout my go to. I phoned Haci Abdullah, one other Istanbul eatery impressed by Ottoman delicacies, and so they informed me they weren’t presently providing ashure, although it’s listed on their web site’s menu. Torun mentioned the explanation for that is that some eating places solely serve ashure through the month of Muharram, and there won’t be a lot demand at different instances.

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