Monday, September 12, 2011

Coffa or cauphe

In 1656 a London barrister, Thomas Blount, published his Glossographia: or a Dictionary, Interpreting all such Hard Words of Whatsoever Language, now used in our refined English Tongue. Blount’s dictionary listed more than eleven thousand words, many of which, he recognised, were new, reaching London in the hurly-burly of trade and commerce1:

coffa or cauphe, a kind of drink among the Turks and Persians, (and of late introduced among us) which is black, thick and bitter, destrained from Berries of that nature, and name, thought good and very wholesom: they say it expels melancholy.

Three and a half century later I am enjoying a well-made cup of Turkish coffee here in Bodrum, Turkey. The aroma and flavour of centuries long oriental tradition leaves a distinguished taste on the palate up to an hour.

The diamond shaped thing on the plate is called süt helvası from Fındıklı, Rize; a rough sugar-like dessert made by cooking equal amounts of sugar and milk for hours until the mixture becomes thick.

This should not make you believe that we Turks are equally good at making Cappuccino, or Latte. In my view the best Italian coffee is served in Roma, Italy or in Sydney, Australia.

You should enjoy local food proven by centuries long scrutiny when you are travelling and avoid global brands in order to make your holiday a memorable one.

1. From The Information, James Gleick

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