Turkish Cuisine in Historical Perspective – Deniz Gürsoy

Turkish Cuisine in Historical Perspective is one of the many books by dear Deniz Gürsoy that I have read, and to tell the truth, my respect for him is increasing day by day. Turkish Cuisine in Historical Perspective examines the food culture of the geography I was born in, starting from prehistoric times and ending in the Ottoman Empire. Meanwhile, it examines the Sumerian, Egyptian, Greek and Byzantine food cultures, as well as the food and cuisines of the Turkic states before the Ottoman Empire.


Turkish Cuisine in Historical Perspective explains the differences in food culture in Turkey’s geography by considering the East-West and North-South sides. When you see that people of different ethnic origins who have lived here over time have added to today’s culinary culture, one is surprised at the fight that all humanity has started.

Turkish Cuisine in Historical Perspective - Deniz Gürsoy

Deniz Gürsoy explores the influence of monotheistic religions; Turkish Cuisine in Historical Perspective also deals with the prohibitions in Judaism, Christianity and Islam and the commercial aspects of these prohibitions. After that, he gradually explains the culinary cultures of the First Islamic states, the Turks in Asia and the Anatolian Seljuks. The section that occupies the majority of the book is the food and culinary culture of the Ottoman Empire.

Deniz Gürsoy explains every detail from the palace kitchens to the chefs working in these kitchens. Of course, your mouth is watering as you read about the banquets given. From the harem to the army, from the poor to the rich, you can visit everyone’s kitchen and review the relevant recipes shared by the author. According to their subjects, these recipes are interspersed between the chapters, and some of them have been adapted to the present day. I must say I tried some of them and they are amazing! There are much more in Turkish Cuisine in Historical Perspective. You’ll savour it if you like reading about food culture and history. Enjoy!

Turkish Cuisine in Historical Perspective - Deniz Gürsoy

Turkish Cuisine in Historical Perspective

Deniz Gürsoy commenced this study with the aim of examining how, over time, our food culture has undergone changes in the geography where ancestors formerly lived. He directed his attention to the foodstuffs, the fundamental components of the cuisine and then investigated the story of the food of the peoples who had occupied our geography before us. He examined regional influences and confined his research to the area delimited by the geographical frontiers.

Contents are as follows:

The Prehistoric Epoch
Ancient Egypt
Ancient Greece
Byzantine Empire
Cultural Differences: East-West And North – South
The Influence of Religion
The Era of the Islamic States
Turks in Asia
The Anatolian Seldjukides
The Ottoman Period
The Ottoman Imperial Palace Kitchens
Court Cuisine
The Culinary Arts at the Ottoman Imperial Court
Imperial Court Cuisine
Fêtes At The Court
At Home
Islamic Pious Endowments: The Institutions of Caravansaries and Soup Kitchens
The Armed Forces
Cookshops, Eateries, And Food Venders
Coffee and Coffeehouses
Alcohol and Islam 

Deniz Gürsoy

Deniz Gürsoy was born in 1949 in Istanbul. He graduated from the Robert Academy in 1968 and from the Business Administration Department of Boğaziçi University in 1972. He held senior management and General Manager positions in various companies.

He wrote various books on food culture and history.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges: 

A Non-fiction a Month

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