Preparation and conservation of winter supplies
There are several methods in Turkish cuisine to preserve food for the winter. Vegetables and fruits, such as peppers, eggplants, beans, tomatoes, apples, plums and mulberries, are dried, for example, and processed in the winter to vegetable dishes or cooked as a compote.
Peppers and tomatoes are also processed into a puree that thickens in the sun and is later used as a tomato or paprika brandy. Many vegetables are also canned with vinegar, water, salt and lemon, to “Tursu”, and in addition to many winter dishes, instead of salad.
The production of “Tarhana” varies from region to region. As a rule, a porridge made from yoghurt, flour and coarse semolina, with the addition of spices and various vegetables, is dried in the sun. The dry pieces are grated and cooked during the preparation of the Tarhana soup. This soup is a popular and nutritious winter soup.
Sour cherries, strawberries and apricots are the most popular types of fruit from which jam and syrup are made.
“Pekmez”, a thick, boiled syrup of grapes, mulberries or apples, has become a rather rare product in recent years. Nevertheless, it is still produced in many places and, among other things, with the addition of fresh fruit, such as quinces, pears and grapes, processed into jam. When you cook this very sweet syrup with cornstarch, it hardens after cooling to a kind of solid jelly, which is filled with nuts to various forms.
Meat is also preserved for the winter, especially where much emphasis is still placed on traditional Turkish cuisine. Chopped or diced meat with salt is fried in its own fat and cooled. The meat, which is now embedded in a kind of lard, keeps cold for a long time and is used in the preparation of winter dishes. “Pastirma”, a kind of ham stuffed with a spicy paste of garlic and paprika, “Sucuk”, a spicy dried garlic sausage, is also on the winter menu like dried or smoked meat or fish pieces.
In addition to these traditional methods for the preservation of food, of course, preserving by boiling or freezing is practiced.
Source: Ministry of Culture Turkey