Turkish food is one of the best and healthiest cuisines of the world. Bodrum area is very special since we can get fresh vegetables, fruits and herbs all year round; making it the place for a school of Aegean Turkish Cuisine which is based mainly on olive oil and vegetables. We offer recreational cookery experiences in a wonderful setting in a olive garden. Being in the heart of very fertile lands and cultures, our Turkish cuisine became a melting pot of many traditions. There are endless varieties of recipes.
Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner.
In the summer season many cultural events like concerts and exhibition openings take place in the Bodrum area. It is difficult to list them beforehand but Cooking Class Bodrum will let you know of them at the time of booking, or when they are announced, to add extra cultural options to your visit.
Asli finds that Fodors travel guide sums it up perfectly: Aegean cuisine is in many ways different from Turkish food elsewhere in the country. The shared Turkish and Greek culture of the region's past, the climate and soil suitable for growing a wide range of vegetables, and the prevalence of olive trees and olive-oil production have helped the region develop a much more varied and probably healthier way of eating than elsewhere in Turkey.
Turkey is an olive country, there many orchards along the long coastline starting from the Marmara Sea, all the way down to the Eastern Mediterranean. Olive oil replaces butter and fish replaces meat on most menus. The class of dishes generally called zeytinyagl (literally "with olive oil") mostly comes from this region; it means vegetables cooked in olive oil, mostly with tomatoes and onions, and served cold. Vegetarians will be in heaven.
She says This explains very well our cuisine in this part of our country. I would also add that we take particular care to use the many herbs and vegetables that are grow wild, such as the nettles, mallows, coltsfoot, chicory, mushrooms, wild asparagus, and from the seashore- wild samphire.
We also add the flavours of the many citrus orchards around the Bodrum area to some of our dishes, adding a zest and balance to the olive oil. Most of the vegetables found in farmers markets are naturally organic, brought direct from the farmers and village men and women who rise so early to harvest before taking up their spot in the marketplace. I take care to try and use their produce, and would like to introduce our guests to them.
Olives always had an important role in our lives when I was growing up. It was one of the most liked items on our Turkish Breakfast menu. Where the other musts were feta cheese made from sheeps milk called Ezine and Cay (chai) Turkish Tea and ofcourse bread that was bought from our local bakery (frn) still luke warm when it was brought to our table.
From time to time Turkish Bagels covered with sesame seeds (simit) would accompany our traditional daily breakfast. If it was a holiday, the breakfast in our house would take longer and would include home made jams, preserves, sun dried fruits, tomatos and cucumbers.
Coming back to olives, it was always important where they came from and how they were treated. Everybody in the family had different favorites, my father would always ask for sele which are black olives from the Marmara Region majorly from Gemlik close to Bursa, treated with salt in baskets and it takes almost a year until you can eat them.
This kind of olives would be brought from Gemlik, in the later years my father followed his love for olives and bought land near Gemlik and started making his own sele zeytin. Zeytin means olives in Turkish. They are totaly different than what you can call olives in the western world, very delicious and mature.
My mother would go for her own fathers way, an emigrant from Northern Greece who was forced to leave his mother land after the first World War, the Greek and Turkish governments exchanged peoples lands and his family was given olive lands in Pergamon (Bergama). Bergama is western Turkey, two hours drive to the North of zmir.
For many years he neglected this land maybe because he did not want to remember what had happened in those years which were very painful. But later when it came close to his retirement with the search of his roots he remembered these Olive Orchards he owned.
It was a major treat for us kids, we loved going there picking the olives, taking them to the classical olive press and experiencing the whole procedure. There treating the olives is a different story.
First of all olives are picked just before they turn black, the color is like turning from olive green to olive Brown. Once you pick them you make three cuts and you soak them into water to take out the bitterness.
You have to keep changing the water at start every day, than every week, than every two weeks and about 3 months later the becomes edible than you either put salt in it or lemon salt. In our house it was lemon salt since my mother loved the soury taste of these olives. I have to confess here that I was the one who would finish the jar at nights.
Coming from a western Turkish family, I thought for a long time that olives were just for our Turkish Breakfast. Than when going to school in the U.S I realised that pizzas had olives on them but the olives on the pizza did not taste as olives to me, our understanding of olives are totaly different than they are in Italy.
I love the Italian food and wine very much and feel we have so much in common but I can not say that for olives! Anyways in the later years when I first met my in laws from Southern Turkey, Adana I was surprised to see the olives in the salad, I mean in olive salad not a green salad, with walnuts and pomogranate syrup.
And these olives were treated different again. First they were picked up when they were very green, they had a very small seed where as we are used to larger seeds in green olives in the west, and they were not cut but cracked. They tasted more like the Italian olives and went very well in the salad.
Now in Cooking Classes Bodrum, at our Olive Harvesting courses we try to teach all these methods and sometimes show our mixed methods. Olive Harvesting starts from November and goes on to January. We have great time picking the olives, cutting them, cracking them, getting olive oil out of them, its our fun time.
Bodrum Jazz Festival (usually in May every year): Bodrum Jazz Festival is organized at the Marina Yacht Club every year by Karsanat, Karia Arts & Culture Foundation.
Turgutreis International Classical Music Festival (usually in July every year): The D-Marin Turgutreis International Classical Music Festival is staged every year since 2005 at the D-Marin in Bodrum Turgutreis under the founding sponsorship of the Dou Group to help promote classical music in Turkey and bring it to greater audiences as one of the primary channels of the universal legacy of art and to pave the way for Turkish artists to sign their names under world-class achievements. The only festival taking place in a marina, the festival retains its distinctive character in Turkey for featuring nothing but classical music, offering a total seven concerts in four days at sunset and by night.
Gumusluk International Classical Music Festival (usually in July and August every year): The Gmlk International Classical Music Festival and Eklisia summer school is held in the small fishing village of Gmlk on the south west coast of Turkey. It began in 2004 as a series of concerts and has grown to be a meeting place for internationally renowned musicians and up-and-coming performers. It was the brainchild of Mesut Pekergin and is now run by Eren Levendolu, a graduate of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Glsin Onay, one of Turkey's most famous living pianists is the artistic advisor. The concerts are held in the 250 year old church, in nearby hotels and restaurants and various venues around the Bodrum peninsula.The organisers seek to maintain a relaxed atmosphere to counterbalance the often stressful environment of music conservatoires; teachers and students are encouraged to interact as much as possible, both musically and socially.
International Bodrum Ballet Festival (usually in August every year): The General Directorate of State Opera and Ballet, has been bringing together topnotch artistic quality events and artlovers from various countries at exceptional historic sites, and Bodrum is one of them. The festival bearing the quality of being the first and only ballet festival of Turkey since 10 years, has overtaken a position of earning the attention and acclaim from not only the art organizations but also from public with its international level it reached today.
Bodrum Baroc Music Festival (usually in September every year): Bodrum Baroc Music Festival is organized at a historic location every year by Karsanat, Karia Arts & Culture Foundation.
International Bodrum Carnival (usually in September every year): Bodrum is home to many civilizations and the carnival reflects the multi cultures of the area. For a week many concerts, exhibitions, performances take place in public areas at Bodrum down town.
Bodrum Yacht Festival (3rd week of October every year): The Bodrum Cup is an annual yacht regatta organized by ERA Bodrum Sailing Club. The primary intention is to promote interest and skill in sailing among the captains and crews of Bodrum's charter fleet. It is also a celebration of the ending of each year's cruising season, a means to bring together in a friendly encounter charter yachts that normally cruise on their own. This is a fun event organized since 1989, held every third week in October.
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