Half a million people attend 6th Taste of Adana festival in Turkey

14 Oct 2022

The sixth International Taste of Adana Festival was held in Adana, Turkey, from October 7-9, 2022, around the theme of “Legacies: the past and future of cuisine.” Almost half a million people attended, making it one of the largest gastronomic events in the country.

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The Slow Food Adana community took part in the event by organizing different talks and workshops and a marketplace stall.

Following the theme of this edition, the Slow Food Adana leader, Pırıl Bilici, presented some of Adana’s traditional dishes, once a regular feature at special occasions in the community, but which are now almost forgotten, and brought them back to life by telling their stories.

Important life events were once celebrated through specific products, such as Kaynar, a spicy, sweet, hot beverage that was prepared when a new child was born, or Diş Hediği, a treat made of boiled local Karakılçık wheat, local hard candy, chickpeas, sesame and honey, which was baked in the occasion of a child’s first tooth.

Other symbolic dishes are connected to religious events or important steps in people’s lives: some people still make roasted liver during Eid al-Adha, lentil bulgur pilaf is served during the Mevlud prayer ceremony after weddings; molasses flour halva made from local flour, molasses and sesame is often eaten at funerals.

 width=Nesrin Karataş, a Slow Food member and food engineer, cooked a traditional food dish called sikma, a type of wrap made with Karakılçık wheat and local cheese.

Slow Food Adana Çiftçi Pazarı (Slow Food Adana Farmers’ Market) was the most popular place during the festival. Writers, chefs, experts, researchers, Slow Food and Chefs Alliance members had the opportunity to taste traditional Adana products and learn about their stories.

In the wake of the success of the event, a workshop was held at the Slow Food Adana Farmers’ Market in October. Elementary school children got to discover a local variety of olives, the Adana Topağı and learned how to crush them, with a wooden tool called a tokmak to obtain table olives. This activity allowed the children closer contact with traditional products in a fun, practical way.

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