Friday, June 20, 2014

THE PA MELTING POT - Macedonians 6 - 3 - The Turks

Under the column are photos and lots of links including 
videos AND restaurant links:

There are two active Turkish organizations in Pittsburgh:
Turkish Cultural Center Pittsburgh: (http://tccpittsburgh.org/) with 150 active members and 

Pittsburgh Turkish-American Association: (http://www.ptaa.org/home/) - unknown amount of members

This is the latest bi-weekly column that I penned for The Uniontown Herald-Standard in Uniontown, PA.  It will appear on June 26, 2014.



A look at the evolution of food in southwestern Pennsylvania –
MACEDONIANS:  Part 6 – 3 The Turks

The largest number of ethnic Turks entered the US from 1900 and 1914. However the US passed the Immigration Act of 1917, which limited entries into the United States based on literacy and that halted some immigration. The early Turks were male-dominated economic farmer and shepherd emigrants from the lower socioeconomic classes; their main concern was to save enough money and return home. The majority settled in urban areas and worked in the industrial sector, taking difficult and lower-paying jobs in leather factories, tanneries, the iron and steel sector, and the wire, railroad, and automobile industries.  

Later, a large wave of Turkish Americans who were more entrepreneurial came from 1960’s-1980 and on. During the last 15-25 years, Turkish grocery stores, restaurants and craft shops have increased in number.  According to different online sources there are 7 to 14 restaurants that serve Turkish food in the Pittsburgh area.

BEVERAGE:  Raki (the national drink) is a distilled beverage made from different fruits usually grapes, figs, raisins and plums. Raki is usually drunk with cold dishes like tomatoes, cucumber, lettuce salad and seafood. Fish is also a favorite, especially mullet and mackerel. Due to the aniseed it contains, raki changes color and becomes a milky white when water is added and a glass of pure water to go with it gives a distinct pleasant taste. 
Meze platters are very popular in Turkey. 

Meze are appetizers. I have decided to dedicate this column to meze platter items which are also popular in the original Macedonian Empire countries: Macedonia, Greece, Cyprus (I had meze in Cyprus), Bulgaria, Albania, Serbia, Kosovo, etc.  Meze or mezze are a compendium of all Macedonian foods.  I think you will find them very interesting. I had a semi-Americanized meze platter party last year and everyone was anxious to try the dishes.  

Turkish meze often consist of Beyaz Peynir (white cheese), Kavun (sliced ripe melon), Acili Ezme (hot pepper paste often with walnuts), Havdari (thick strained yogurt), Patlıcan Salatası (cold eggplant salad), Baba Ghanouse (mashed eggplant mixed with seasonings), Hummus (cooked, mashed chickpea dip), Kalamar (calamari or squid), Enginar (artichokes), Cacik (yogurt with cucumber and garlic), Dolma (vegetables like peppers or squash stuffed with rice, chopped mint, lemon juice, pepper, minced lamb) and Kofte (meatballs).

MORE MEZE (MEZZE): Kibbeh (bulgur wheat, chopped meat, and spices), Falafel (deep-fried ball or patty using ground chickpeas, fava beans, or both), Halloumi cheese (usually sliced and grilled or fried), Souvlaki (bite sized meat cubes, often lamb, grilled on a skewer over charcoal), Sarma (grape vine leaves, stuffed with rice, chopped mint, lemon juice, pepper, minced lamb), Shanklish (cow's milk or sheep's milk cheeses), Muhammara (a hot pepper dip with ground walnuts, breadcrumbs and seasonings), Pastirma (seasoned, air-dried cured beef meat), Tabbouleh (bulgur, finely chopped parsley, mint, tomato, spring onion, with lemon juice, olive oil and seasonings), Fattoush (salad made from several garden vegetables and toasted or fried pieces of pita bread), artichoke salad, Olives, Shepherd salad (Tomato, cucumber, pepper, parsley, onion or scallion) and Kisir (bulgur rice, tomatoes, scallions, parsley, olive oil, red pepper paste).

For recipes from 1700s to 1960s and modern day links visit www.ThePAMeltingPot.com.  Christine Willard, a native of western Pennsylvania, researches and blogs about the food unique to Western Pennsylvania. She currently resides in North Carolina. Her blog can be found at www.ThePAMeltingPot.com.

  

  

  

  

  


FOOD PHOTOS

  

  

  

  

  


ABOUT TURKISH AMERICANS FROM WIKI: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turkish_American


ABOUT TURKISH CUISINE FROM WIKI:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turkish_cuisine


TURKISH-CUISINE.ORG:


BUZZ FEED 21 FOODS YOU WILL WANT:             http://www.buzzfeed.com/jeremybender/tantalizing-turkish-foods-youll-want-immediately

VIDEOS:



ANTHONY BOURDAIN ON TURKEY:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7GRQHrf2I7s

ISTANBUL FOOD GUIDE:   http://vimeo.com/49375187


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

The PA Melting Pot: THE PA MELTING POT: Western Europeans: 8-2 The B...

The PA Melting Pot: THE PA MELTING POT: Western Europeans: 8-2 The B...: BELOW is the column I wrote for the Uniontown (PA)  Herald-Standard  which will appear on 6/12/2014. A look at the evolution of foo...



THE PA MELTING POT: Western Europeans: 8-2 The Basques and the Portuguese Recipes, Links and Videos

BELOW is the column I wrote for the Uniontown (PA) 
Herald-Standard 
which will appear on 6/12/2014.

A look at the evolution of food in southwestern Pennsylvania – WESTERN EUROPEANS:  Part 8 – 2 - The Basques and the Portuguese

I have combined three cultures in this column due to their proximities, cuisines and early reasons for immigrating to the United States (whalers, fishermen and sailors):  Spanish & French Basques and the Portuguese.

The Basques

Around 200 BC there was a country formed called Basque. They spoke a language called Euskera. Immigration records had to be inaccurate when the first Basques (1400) came to the US because they didn’t speak French, Spanish and were from an unknown country which got split in half by the newer borders of France and Spain. Later they began speaking French in SW France and Spanish in northern Spain. Their Euskera language and their country disappeared. There are, however, many Basque communities out west in the US.  

However, their cuisines have had an impact on western PA cuisine as you will see even though it is difficult to get any numbers on the Basque immigration.  The sophisticated cuisines of France and Spain were simplified into an early peasant cuisine but became more sophisticated as time went on.

Now in western PA you can easily find Paella, chicken & rice, tomato sauce (beef stock, red wine and mushrooms), Ezkualdun Itarrak (pork and beans), Gazpacho (chilled tomato soup), Spanish omelet, Spanish Salad (red kidney beans, onion, green pepper, hard-boiled eggs & seasonings), Seafood stew (like Italian cioppino), frijoles (pinto beans), chili con carne, sponge cake (flavored), Bistek Ranchero (T-bone, onion, butter, tomato, jalapeno & spices), Huevos al Rabo de Mestiza (salsa served on tortillas over cheesy fried egg) and finally Arroz Doce (rice pudding).

Some beverages include Txakoli wine and Basque cider.
There is one restaurant classified under Basque: The Ibiza Tapas Restaurant in the South Side in Pittsburgh.

LINK FOR THE IBIZA TAPAS RESTAURANT IN PITTSBURGH:  http://ibizatapaspgh.com/ 


The Portuguese

The first Portuguese immigrants (1511) were sailors and whalers looking for work along the eastern coast of the US. The first were Jewish. More came in 1849 for the CA gold rush and in 1910 Roman Catholics came when the Portuguese monarchy collapsed. 1958-1980 and on a very large contingent came. They were creative and thrifty.

Their cuisine consists of hearty & bread soups, sausages like linquica (made from pork butt and and seasonings), baked dishes and egg-rich baked goods.  They brought Mediterranean spices, herbs and special cooking and pickling methods.

They use dried salt cod in many of their dishes such as Bacalhau (codfish cakes) and Bacalhau a Gomes de Sa (codfish casserole).  Many meat dishes (roasted chicken or catalana) use piri piri (hot oil sauce made with dried red peppers, herbs, spices whiskey, olive and vegetable oils). 

Breads include cornbread made with white cornmeal and two flours, Massa Sovada (round sweet bread), Pao Doce (sweet loaf bread) and malassadas (deep fried sweet doughnuts).
Other dishes include soup made with beans, onions, and sausage, steamed clams, escargot with butter sauce and Caldo Verde (soup made with potatoes, kale and linquica).  

Commonly popular with the Spanish, Portuguese and Basques is Pil Pil (dried codfish with garlic mayo).

Beverages include Porto and Madiera wine.

There is a Portuguese Restaurant in Shadyside, Pittsburgh.  Café Zinho. They don't have their own website but this is a link to URBANSPOON. Unfortunately you will have to go through the photos to get a tiny current photo of the menu!!  The view menu button has old copies of the menu that you can hardly read. 


For recipes from 1700s to 1960s and modern day links visit www.ThePAMeltingPot.com.
Christine Willard, a native of western Pennsylvania, researches and blogs about the food unique to Western Pennsylvania. She currently resides in North Carolina. Her blog can be found at www.ThePAMeltingPot.com.



FOOD AND INFORMATIONAL LINKS AND VIDEOS BELOW
PHOTOS OF FOOD FOR EACH COUNTRY

BASQUE:

  






  


  


  


  


  


  


  


  


  


  



BASQUE FOOD PHOTOS

  


  


  


  


  


  


  


  


  


  








Great site (above) with lots of recipe links

BASQUE PELOTE VIDEO: 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2g8lRYmcMHY 

BASQUE DANCING VIDEO:  
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FUDCa0cPo3I


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FOOD AND INFORMATIONAL LINKS AND VIDEOS BELOW
PHOTOS OF FOOD FOR EACH COUNTRY

PORTUGUESE:

  


  


  


  


  


  


  


  


  


  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  



http://portugal.angloinfo.com/lifestyle/food-and-drink/portuguese-dishes/

LINK TO PORTUGUESE  HOLIDAYS


http://portugal.angloinfo.com/inside/public-holidays/



Famous Portuguese Piri Piri Oil links:





http://www.fiery-foods.com/chiles-around-the-world/77-europe/1926-the-portuguese-piri-piri-expedition


Other Portuguese food links:

http://allrecipes.com/recipes/world-cuisine/european/portuguese/

http://www.foodnetwork.com/topics/portuguese.html

http://www.portuguesecooking.com/great_recipe

PORTUGUESE VIDEO:

Emeril cooks Portuguese:

http://www.marthastewart.com/938401/emerils-favorite-portuguese-recipes

PORTUGAL TRAVEL VIDEO

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ku32HBnAEEg