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Playful Eating | Summer Artichokes A simple Turkish dish, the way my aunt made it.

Playful Eating | Summer Artichokes

TURKEY | Friday, 6 March 2015 | Views [309]

The story behind my recipe.

It was a late summer afternoon and the sun had passed our apartment leaving us in the cool shade, a breeze blowing through the balcony was welcoming in the heat.

My cousin and I sat at the table with a bowl full of huge artichokes bigger than my fist. They looked like a glossy murky brown plant and I couldn't figure out how they were considered delicious, I was bewildered. I watched her with both hands devouring the khaki green leaves. One by one she would scrape the flesh as her lips would smack and a lipgloss sheen would remain.

A mountain of discarded leaves piled up in another bowl as she moved on to the next globe. My face must have been a picture!

I tried a leaf to see what the fuss was all about. It was a simple combination of lemon juice and olive oil that brought out the flavours in the earthy, nutty almost artichoke.

When I arrived back to England, I bought a couple of artichokes from my local Turkish supermarket and looked for a recipe on Google. It  wasn't as good as my aunt's dish but it was delicious. I tasted my culture, my family traditions, my curiosity. I felt full on my achievement.

Every week I would buy two artichokes to cook for myself to continue to enrich my Turkish identity. I mastered the simple recipe and the intricate way to savour it.

Although it's a fresh dish with clean flavours and a delightful example of a Turkish summer cuisine, it's the way to be enjoyed that really intrigued me. If it's at the table the guests are bound to talk about it, equally it will bring conversation to the table. There's no rush when enjoying an artichoke true Mediterranean table style. It's a fun, playful experience. It's a little similar to plucking the petals from a daisy reciting 'He Loves me, He loves me not'. With patience, good will follow - the shedding of the leaves with provide the lucky one a taste of heart, of love. Even artichokes have hearts they say, and they do - they taste of togetherness, passion and life!

Tags: artichokes, family, food, identiy, learning, love, olive oil, passion, turkey

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