Appears in

Classic Turkish Cooking

By Ghillie Basan

Published 1995

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The hills, valleys and plains of Anatolia burst into colour in spring, providing a haven for botanists and bees. The pine-wooded coastline of the Aegean and Mediterranean thrums with buzzing activity from spring through summer. Needless to say the honey of Turkey is fragrant and rich in natural shades of black, dark brown, deep yellow, creamy white and bright gold. The dark nectar from the pine forests of Marmaris is much sought after, in both comb and runny form. And the infamous deli bal of Kars, extracted from the wild forest and mountain flowers of eastern Anatolia, is full of surprises: its fiery kick at the back of the throat brings with it slight hallucinatory sensations. Believed to sweeten life and ward off sadness, honey is used in cooking and in desserts, but it is best of all eaten in sticky dollops on fresh bread or trickled over thick yogurt.