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Jan 20, 2018

Associate Prof. Özge Samancı’s Book “1880 - Yeni Yemek Kitabı” Selected as the Gastronomy Book of the Year

The 2017 “Best of the Year” awards found their new home.  The traditional “Best of the Year” awards have been accorded by Dünya Kitap, the memory of the publication world in Turkey, for the past 25 years. This year, the “Gastronomy Book of the Year” award was accorded to “1880-Yeni Yemek Kitabı” (1880 - New Cook Book) by a board made up of Ahmet Örs, Faruk Şüyün, Mehmet Yaşin, Nevin Halıcı, and Osman Serim. The New Cook Book was translated and simplified by Associate Prof. Özge Samancı, Head of our Gastronomy and Culinary Arts Department, and published by Çiya Publishing House.  Associate Prof. Samancı received her award during an awards ceremony in Pera Museum.

As the name suggests, the New Cook Book is one of the “new” books which reflects the culinary trends of the era. The book includes not only the traditional recipes of the Istanbul cuisine, such as kebabs, stuffed vegetables, halva, and rice, but also the European recipes such as pies, roast beef, and pudding. Published in 1880 for the first time, the book’s author is not known.  The book’s preface states that recipes included are the recipes made in Istanbul mansions by the famous cooks of the era. Blending the traditional Turkish recipes with the recipes from the European cuisine, the book also offers the cooking techniques and materials which represent not only modern Turkish cuisine but also the traditional Ottoman cuisine. The translated and simplified version of the New Cook Book serves as a highly important resource that dates back to centuries ago, with its both original, and translated and simplified texts.

Associate Prof. Özge Samancı believes that the preservation and sustainability of the Turkish culinary culture depends on uncovering resources hidden away in the depths of the archives.

“I translated this book years ago to use it in my doctoral dissertation “The Culinary Culture of Istanbul in the 19th Century” at the EHESS (Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales),” remarked Associate Prof. Samancı. “Years later I worked on it again and offered it to a publishing house. The New Cook Book is an anonymous cook book whose first issue was written in Ottoman Turkish and published in Istanbul in 1880. The book had three more issues in the following years. The New Cook Book reflects the culinary culture of Istanbul which also represents the select Ottoman cuisine in the 19th century. The European recipes included in the book demonstrates the Western influence on the Istanbul and Ottoman palace cuisine starting from the 1850s, while the book also covers traditional recipes from the ancient Ottoman cuisine. Documenting the culinary culture of the era, the book serves as a primary resource which contributes to both gastronomy and history.”

Associate Prof. Özge Samancı has books, book chapters, and articles published on the Ottoman and Turkish culinary culture. Associate Prof. Samancı’s doctoral dissertation “La Cuisine d’Istanbul au 19e siècle” (Culinary Culture of Istanbul in the 19th Century) was also published as a book in France in 2015.