31 Jul 2011

Different perspective of food culture

Having only ever visited Turkey as a tourist in 1990, it was with trepidation that I set off to South Eastern Anatolia in this captivating country of contrasts, from the cosmopolitan cities of Istanbul and Ankara in the north, to the Mediterranean beaches and pine forests of the west, and the south eastern borderlands of Syria, Iran and Iraq.

For me, food tourism consultant but also hands on chocolatier and traditional Scottish tablet maker, my life revolves around food, provenance and taste perceptions. It is the core of all our lives; it binds people together; it is the common denominator, and the ultimate life giver.

The best meals were often those set in the simplest settings, closest to the people who cooked and served them. There are still solid links between people and land in Gaziantep, unlike the UK, where it can be so far removed from everyday life that some children have never seen cattle grazing in a field, don’t live in a house where food is chopped or cooked.

To promote food tourism there needs to be a bringing together of the social, economic, environmental and health benefits of locally produced food. In Gaziantep, it happens as simply and assuredly as the rhythms of life itself, and we only touched the surface of its strong beating heart.

Read the full report
Gaziantep 2011

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