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Latest Archaeology Digs In Turkey Finds 12,000 Years Of Anatolian Food Culture

Travelers Today       By    Glory Moralidad

Updated: Feb 11, 2017 03:29 AM EST

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Aspects Of The Mediterranean Diet
The main feature of all Turkey cuisines, which is the presence of olive oil in many dishes, can be traced back to the early Neolithic Age more than thousands of years ago. Here, olives and olive oil, a source of monounsaturated fat, which is protective against heart disease, and also a source of antioxidants including vitamin E, are staple foods in Mediterranean countries. The Mediterranean diet, a term used to broadly describe the eating habits of the people of the region, is widely believed to be responsible for the low rates of chronic heart disease in the populations of the 16 countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea.
(Photo: David Silverman/Getty Images)

Archaeological missions in the old city of Tlos in Turkey have led scientists and historians to the information they needed regarding the food culture of Anatolians dating 12,000 years ago. The excavations found jars and cookers with animal meat like deer, rabbit and wild boar, but the ancient people favored agricultural products only years later on.

Akdeniz University Archaeology Department academic and Tlos excavation head Professor Taner Korkut told the Hurriyet Daily News, "Mostly cereal-based foods and plants were eaten. Maza, which is a kind of phyllo dough made up of barley meal, was always on the table. Also, einkorn flour was used to make phyllo bread in the Roman era, and it was called puls."

He revealed that Anatolians loved eating onions and garlic with cheese over puls. Moreover, the civilization was found out to having their bread, known as ortos, made with barley and started to prefer wheat as their main ingredient in baking a few decades later.

Their vegetables are often eaten raw with some got boiled or mashed, while fruits such as figs and grapes are prepared with dishes over wine. The main feature of all Turkey cuisines, which is the presence of olive oil in many dishes, can be traced back to the early Neolithic Age more than thousands of years ago.

Anatolians typically used earthenware as their double baskets and pressure steam cookers especially during the first and second century. Furthermore, the dig-ups have led the team believed that Anatolians were already advanced in their food culture when they found ceramic plates, glasses, pitchers and serving dishes were used during the old days.

In fact, plates during the Hellenistic age were more luxurious. Locals of mountainous regions in Muğla's Seydikemer district maintained the traditions of their gastronomical culture worth centuries ago, Korkut further commented to Hurriyet Daily News.

Further research is needed for Korkut as he hopes to publish Anatolia's food culture in a book.

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