December 2, 2023

Athens News

News in English from Greece

Per "imam" I will give my soul: Turkish roots of traditional Greek dishes

Turkish media dedicate reports and headlines to the traditional dish kokoretsi (twisted offal, lamb, grilled), declaring that its origin is Turkish land.

“After baklava, tzatziki and imam baildi*, Greece now lays claim to kokorezi! Hellenes advertise traditional Turkish cuisine as if it were their own!” Turkish Show TV reported.

“I challenge the Greeks, I defend my own, ours! Let them come and see that we cook these dishes better. We were not taken to EU, and now they want to take away the last one?, – a Turkish citizen says in the report, looking at the camera, – let’s invite a Greek and eat kokoretsi together. Whoever eats more, the truth will follow! Our kokorets are wonderful. And we will stand our ground!”

However, the Greek tavern responds to this challenge by explaining how the preparation of the same dishes in Greek and Turkish versions differs.

“Greeks eat kokoretsi and imam all year round, these are purely Greek dishes,” says a cook from Vari.

* The name of the dish imam baildi (eggplant-shoe), presumably, has Turkish roots. Imam baildi is a Turkish cuisine recipe that also cooked in Greek, Bulgarian and Albanian cuisines. The name means “imam baildishe – stunned, fainted.” Because, according to legend, the imam, upon hearing about the cost of the ingredients and the olive oil needed for cooking, lost consciousness.

The main ingredient of imam baildi is eggplant. During cooking, they are cut lengthwise and, after frying, stuffed with various vegetables, such as tomatoes, onions and parsley. Then they are baked in the oven. The dish is served hot or cold.

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