Turkey's Official Travel and Tourism Guide
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Food and Social Life. The collective dinner table is one of the traditional foundations of Turkish culture that symbolizes togetherness. In the base of these collective dinners table comes the family dinner table, which symbolizes unity, solidarity and it’s important for the family to come together at this table.
Looking at the history of the Turks, this dining tradition that started with family has expanded with the addition of relatives and friends. In modern days, this tradition is not only in the households, but outside, in restaurants, cafes etc. However the dinner table, unity it represents and the time spent at the dinner table are still very significant.
Celebrations are other important occasions where communities, small or large come together. Religious holidays and social activites like “bayram” celebrations, iftar (the time to break the fast during Ramadan), circumsicion and wedding ceremonies, the most important matter is the dinner table and the food that is offered during these occasions.Especially in Anatolian culture, there are certain types of food that are associated with certain types of celebrations. “Güllaç” (Starch wafers soaked in milk syrup and layered with walnuts) for Ramadan, “keşkek” (slow cooked, pounded wheat with lamb) for weddings, “zerde” (saffron infused rice pudding) for circumsicion feasts, and “kavurma” (sauteed beef or lamb in its own fat) prepared for the sacrifice holiday are some examples of these occasion-specific foods. Especially in the Anatolian culture, preparing these feasts by way of “imece” which means, everybody taking place in the celebration gives a hand with preparations. This collective effort gives food and social life concept a different dimension.