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Friday, March 26, 2021

Geographical Indications and Food Culture

Since the beginning of humanity, food has been the most important element in the formation of culture. People living in almost every geography have developed a food culture according to the characteristics of that geography. The food culture that developed with hunting, gathering or agriculture also provided the intelligence of humanity and the development of societies.

"You are what you eat", "life comes from the throat", "It is good to go hungry, die full", "A guest comes with ten fortunes, eats one, leaves nine", "Eating less sleeps less, the power who eats more sleeps", I think about food I can say the proverbs that came immediately. I think I have to explain at length how important food is in our lives. However, I would like to tell you a little bit about the point our culture, which has developed since the history of food, has reached today. Now we eat both to be full, to be healthy and to get taste. The development of technology and communication enables us to eat the food of many countries and cultures in our own countries. The proliferation of alternatives, the development of our world of taste due to different flavors, the desire to always be healthy due to the acceleration of life necessitate that the things we eat do not consist of just feeding us. For this reason, we all start looking for the healthiest and most beautiful dishes within this wide range of flavors. Middle Asian style rice or rhizotto or Mediterranean salad with olive oil and halloumi cheese, spicy and sour Far East soup? In general, a gastronomy or dietitian can answer these questions according to our needs, but what we care about is which of these dishes are made by bringing together the right products suitable for the culture of their region. We want to focus on exactly these issues.

If you want to make a mantı today and this mantı is exactly the mantı of the Kayseri region, many variables will come into play, from the flour, the salt, the meat put into it, the tomato sauce and the characteristics of the yogurt. Well, when we say which ravioli we eat is real Kayseri ravioli, unfortunately there will not be a single answer to this. Different types of kayseri ravioli will be produced in hundreds of restaurants in hundreds of homes. Everyone will come up with different types of mantı, from the folding of the manti to the way it is cooked, from the butter with sauce fried on it to the yogurt. At this point, be sure that some standards come into play with mastery. No matter how well you cook, almost every local dish has a standard. You can think of these standards as the must-have minimum. As you know, this standard document is called Geographical Indication. In general, we can say that a local food that has received a geographical indication in the world has been examined to the finest detail and has revealed the standards of the best food of the region.

For example, I would like to share with you a very short sentence from the Geographical Indication Registration Document of Kayseri Mantı. "Wheat flours with improved self-quality by resting for a certain period of time after milling should be preferred rather than newly ground flours." Now, after reading this sentence, you know that you cannot make Kayseri Ravioli with flour you buy from the normal market. There are hundreds of such standards in many geographical indications marked products we eat and drink. Think about how these dishes could survive for hundreds or even thousands of years and maintain their standards.

Yes, today, technology, transportation, communication have developed a lot and we can eat the food of every country, every country, in our own city. However, every meal we eat is not the real food of that region. In order to understand that it is real, we need to pay attention that it is Geographical Indicated and produced according to those standards. Otherwise, we cannot be sure of the taste, quality or even the health of the products we eat. For this, we must definitely choose Geographical Indications. By doing this, we protect both the culture and the flavors that humanity has developed for centuries.

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