Erzurum Cag Kebab
One of the important factors affecting the culinary culture of a society is the geography in which it is located. This geography, on the other hand, shapes the religion, language, life style, customs and traditions of the living people. For this reason, the dishes are unique to that society, that is, traditional and take their place among the world cuisines. Food that has become a tradition in that geography, has settled in the culture and is considered to be superior to other dishes by the locals is called local food, and factors such as geographical location, production style, historical development, economic and cultural relations, belief and ethnic status can be effective in the formation of these dishes. Therefore, every community and society has a unique local food culture and a culinary culture. However, some of the societies have processed these products so much that they have made their food cultures beyond a need, an aesthetic value, a taste and art product.
Erzurum cag kebab is an aesthetic value or an art product that we can describe just like that. Now I want to get to know this value closely and introduce it.
Erzurum Cag Kebab History Story
One of the distinguishing features of Erzurum cuisine is that it is a junction point on the Silk Road from a geographical point of view and that it has hosted many civilizations, especially the Ottoman State. Erzurum; It is located at the intersection of roads leading to Europe, the Black Sea, Iran, and Russia. Therefore, it was influenced by the Caucasus, Russia and Iranian culinary culture as well as the provinces of Erzincan, Gümüşhane, Bayburt. Erzurum is also very important in animal husbandry, including particularly meat and dairy products, is one of Turkey’s most ambitious animal products in the region. It is stated that cag Kebab, which is one of these animal products, belongs to Kipchak Turks and has been served to guests in the region for weddings and feasts for nearly 300 years.
Evliya Celebi gave important information about the political, social and cultural life of the Nogay Tatars living in the geography where the famous work referred to as Kipchak steppe in the Seyahatname (the region that covers the north of the Black Sea and the Caucasus). This information also includes a kebab made by passing a large bottle of mutton meat and cooked on a car wheel. This information is similar to the cag kebab. In addition, the fact that today’s well-cooked cag kebab is called Tatari with a local expression strengthens this narration. On the other hand, Santur states that the first name of cag Kebab is the dude kebab, the kebab of friends, and the chalice kebab, which was made in friendly conversations, was named as cag kebab in time.
There are different information about when the Cag kebab was started to be sold commercially. According to the Oltu Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which patented this kebab under the name “Oltu Cag Kebab”, kebab was first sold commercially in a barrack-like place by a person who suffered a livelihood in the 1930s. By the 1960s, there was an increase in the number of kebab producers who produced and sold kebab. Kemal Koç, who is one of the important cag kebab masters in Erzurum, on the other hand, earned this kebab, which was known as “bico”, based on the Ottoman era, for the first time in 1982, and was renamed as “Koç Meşhur” in 2000. The Turkish Patent and Trademark Institution has been refused by the Turkish Patent and Trademark Authority on 11.07.2006 by the Municipality of Tortum and on 01.03.2010 by the Erzurum Commodity Exchange. The application has been registered as a geographically marked geographic product. This Olten Chia Kebap according to the geographical indication can be produced in each city within the borders of Turkey, provided to adhere to specifications.
How to Prepare Erzurum Cag Kebab?
Cag kebab is traditionally prepared in houses, in the countryside, in plateaus and gardens, and in commercial restaurants. In the preparation of cag kebab, which is traditionally made at home; First of all, the meat of the slaughtered animal is separated from the bone by a special method, cut in hand-sized pieces and laid on a flat place such as table or table and salt is added on it. In a bowl, finely chopped, crushed and rubbed onions spread on the meat, hand-squeezed like kneaded dough, so that salt and onion are well fed into the meat. In some parts of Erzurum, on the other hand, kneading is done by adding onion, salt and pepper, and basil which is frequently used in the region. The meat, prepared by marinating to make it more delicious, is left to rest in the refrigerator for a while and then it can be cooked.
The issue of which meat will be made is very important. Cag kebab is a kind of kebab made from lamb or lamb. Usually, a steel skewer, which is one meter long, is prepared by making use of the wood in the houses or today. One end of the skewer made of wood is pointed while the other thick head is left as a handle. 15-20 cm from the head of the stem. a knuckle is left up or a thick iron nail is inserted there and an obstacle is created to prevent the meat from slipping and the prepared meat is passed in pieces. The meat that goes down to the bud or nail is pressed by hand and compressed well and all of the bottles are passed. This time a few wedge-shaped flat wood nails are made and the rope is placed between the ring and the spit. Two solid square slats or piles are removed and placed on the nails, the two pass each other and press the meat down evenly. In this way, the piece of meat is pressed and pressed well, and the meats that are pressed well are both cooked well and easily cut into skewers called cag. Two stones are placed in front of the stove at home, the skewer is placed on top of these stones, 10–15 cm high in the hot embers of the wood fire, and the embers are pulled under the skewers and cooked.
On the one hand, a person holds the skewer from the handle and rotates it continuously, so that the meat is well cooked, and the melted fats do not drip on the ground. While cooking kebabs, skilled people make small skewers called “Cağ” from solid bushes. Then the meat which is browned well in the oven mixture is taken back and two people hold the skewer. The third person goes across the skewer to cut meat into the caves with a thin-mouthed and sharp knife, puts the small glasses with one hand parallel to the meat, horizontally from the top of the meat into the meat. proceeds. The amount of thin and fried meat is the same in the cut cans. Even one or two grams do not differ between the cans cut by master cutters. If the cut cans do not have a reddened place, a thin stick is extended to the stove to be cooked, and the embers are pulled under the meat and roasted under the meat. When the number of people is interrupted, one is served to everyone, followed by the second, third and other ages. Although the preparation of cag kebab in restaurants is generally the same, it is possible to say that the work is easier and it is industrial.
Erzurum Cag Kebab Presentation
Presentation of Cag Kebab in houses; It is made with finely chopped, onion, lavash or tandoor bread, kneaded with salt and pepper, and tea is served afterwards. In restaurants, it is served with onions, roasted peppers, seasonal salads, spicy mash, strained yoghurt and lavash or turnip juice and ayran as a beverage accompanied by fresh pita bread. The presentation and service of kebab with stuffed Erzurum kadayıf or fig dessert, which is one of the local desserts, is completed.
Activities Related to Erzurum Cag Kebab
In mass conversations, when three or five people are together, everywhere; In the plateau, mountain, vineyard, garden, house, village mansions, when a guest comes, one small animal is cut and kebab is cooked. Since it takes hours to cook and eat the kebab, conversations are made during this time and it can be considered as a good opportunity to have fun and have a good time. Turning kebabs is a tradition in the village, especially for respected guests, chatting with them and creating a good atmosphere. Compared to many places and people, the participants sincerely describe the taste and conversation of the cag kebab in the village. Everyone in Erzurum and its districts from seven to seventy definitely have an idea about the cag kebab, and they consume kebab in a feast and serve it to their guests.
Gastronomy festivals not only provide a food tasting or dining experience, but also provide tourism experience. In addition to these positive contributions, gastronomic festivals strengthen local food businesses, promote the preservation of food and biodiversity and help maintain local identities. Within the scope of gastronomic festivals, Erzurum Traditional Plateau Festivals in Erzurum are organized by the Tortum Aksu Village Social Assistance and Culture Association, which was established by the village people in Aksu Village of Tortum, since the first week of July every year since 2005.