Local Food

Local produce is a highlight of Coruh and Kackar and the markets here are a delight. Typical food includes stuffed vine-leaves, broad bean paste, green beans and fresh salads. Some specialties are:

- ‘keskul’ (an almond milk pudding)

- ‘kestaneli dolma’ (cabbage leaves stuffed with chestnuts)

- ‘ic pilav’ (rice with pine kernels)

- ‘kaysefe’ (dried plum or mulberry cooked in butter)

- ‘kesme corba’ (lentil-noodle soup flavoured with tarragon)

- ‘lor dolması’ (dock leaves stuffed with bulgur and curd)

- ‘Pestil kayganası’ (pestil cooked in butter and egg)

Walnuts are picked fresh from the tree while they are still green, left to stand in lime and then cooked in sugar syrup to produce traditional walnut taffy. The tart syrup leaves a taste on the palate that will take your breath away. Walnut rolls (‘ceviz sucugu’) and sheets of dried crushed walnuts (‘ceviz pestili’) are also traditional food. Pickled vegetables – including the roots of wild plants, plus gherkins, cucumbers, green tomatoes and onions – are bottled and used in winter.
‘Muhlama’ the best-known local dish, is made of butter, cheese and cornflour and served hot. Fried meat, especially ‘kavurma’ (small pieces of meat cooked in a pan with vegetables) is common. Trout from the Kaçkar streams is cooked in cornflour and butter in a pan and served with onion or green salad. Recently started small bed&breakfast businesses serves delicious local food in Uzundere district. The international Slow Food Movement has a programme for hundreds of unique protected food, called ‘Presidia’. Turkey has only once won a prize, for Kackar honey, but deserves far more. The UNDP TDEAP project hopes to protect traditional recipes and methods, and to provide marketing opportunities for farmers and producers. This would help to generate both income locally and raise international awareness of the region.