Pastirma

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Turkish sliced pastırma
Pastırma5.jpg

Pastirma, pastırma, bastirma or basturma is a highly seasoned, air-dried cured beef of Anatolian origin,[1] which is now part of the cuisines of the former Ottoman countries.

Etymology[edit]

The word comes from the Turkish: bastırma et ("pressed meat"), pastırma [pastɯɾˈma] in modern Turkish.[2] Some authors claim that this is related to the earlier Byzantine Greek word "paston,"[3][4] which is a type of dried and cured meat,[5] but standard Greek dictionaries do not assert this connection.[6][7] The word has been borrowed by other languages of the region: Albanian: pastërma, Arabic: بسطرمة (basterma)‎, Armenian: բաստուրմա (basturma), Azerbaijani: basdırma, Bosnian, Croatian and Serbian: pastrma, Bulgarian: пастърма (pastărma), Greek: παστουρμάς (pastourmás), Hebrew: פסטרמה‎ (pastrama) and Romanian: pastramă. The American cured meat product pastrami has its origins in pastirma via Romanian pastramă.[8]

History[edit]

Armenian basturma

Wind-dried and cured beef has been made in Anatolia for centuries, since at least Byzantine times, when it became a popular delicacy.[9][10][11][12][13][14]

There are various stories about the origin of pastırma, none well documented. One story gives its origins as the city of Kayseri, where there was a Byzantine dish called paston.[15][16][17]

Preparation and usage[edit]

Pastırma is prepared by salting the meat, then washing it with water and letting it dry for 10–15 days. The blood and salt is then squeezed out of the meat which is then covered with a cumin paste called çemen (lit., 'fenugreek') prepared with crushed cumin, fenugreek, garlic, and hot paprika, followed by thorough air-drying.[18]

The Armenians introduced pastırma to Syria and Lebanon in great quantities, and it is usually served as a mezze in thin slices, usually uncooked, but sometimes lightly grilled or added to eggs for breakfast. It may be added to different dishes, the most famous of which is a bean dish, and various pies. The traditional Armenian pastirma strictly uses beef as the meat and this remains as the most common usage.

Even though beef is the most common meat today, various meats are also used depending on locality, including camel, lamb, goat, and water buffalo,[19] with camel being the most prized especially in Syria, a big pastırma producer.

In Turkey, where it is eaten as a breakfast with eggs and as a meze with rakı, there are more than 22 kinds of pastırma.[20] Generally speaking, the mainstream spiced version from Central Anatolia, often called Kayseri pastırması, is most common. The less-common Rumeli pastırması "Balkan pastırma", is simply salted and dried.

In Greece Kayseri pastırması was introduced by the Cappadocian Greeks, refugees from the region of Kayseri.[21]

In Egypt, pastırma is used for breakfast, with fried eggs. It is also used as a topping for pizza, and a filling for a variety of oven prepared stuff dough dishes, whether they are made from regular bread like dough, or a flaky multilayered puff pastry like dough.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Zubaida, Sami & Tapper, Richard. A Taste of Thyme. I.B. Tauris & Co. Ltd, 1994, p. 35 & 39.
  2. ^ TDK dictionary
  3. ^ Smith, Bruce Kraig ; Andrew (2013). The Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America. Oxford University Press. ed. Retrieved 21 October 2014. When the Ottomans settled in Istanbul they also adopted a number of Byzantine dishes, one of which was a form of cured beef called paston and which the Turks called pastirma…It became and remains a specialty of Kayseri in Cappadocia in west central Turkey. 
  4. ^ Underwood, Irina Petrosian ; David (2006). Armenian food : fact, fiction & folklore (2. ed. ed.). Bloomington, Ind.: Yerkir Pub. ISBN 9781411698659. In Byzantine times, the city was called Caesarea Mazaca. There and throughout Byzantium, the technique called paston was an accepted salt-curing tradition. Turks reintroduced paston as pastirma. 
  5. ^ Anagnostakis, Ilias (2013). Flavours and Delights. Tastes and Pleasures of Ancient and Byzantine Cuisine. Armos. p. 81. "paston or tarichon…Cured meats were either eaten raw or cooked in pasto-mageireia with bulgur and greens, mainly cabbage."
  6. ^ Babiniotis, Λεξικό της Νεας Ελληνικής Γλώσσας
  7. ^ Andriotis et al., Λεξικό της κοινής νεοελληνικής
  8. ^ Harry G. Levine, "Pastrami Land, the Jewish Deli in New York City", Contexts, Summer 2007, p. 68. "The modified “pastrami” spelling was probably introduced in imitation of the American English salami."
  9. ^ Andrew Dalby, Siren Feasts, p. 109, 201
  10. ^ Ash, John (2006). A Byzantine journey ([2. ed.] ed.). London: Tauris Parke Paperbacks. ISBN 9781845113070. Having inherited pastirma from the Byzantines, the Turks took it with them when they conquered Hungary and Romania, 
  11. ^ Underwood, Irina Petrosian ; David (2006). Armenian food : fact, fiction & folklore (2. ed. ed.). Bloomington, Ind.: Yerkir Pub. ISBN 9781411698659. In Byzantine times, the city was called Caesarea Mazaca. There and throughout Byzantium, the technique called pastron was an accepted salt-curing tradition. Turks reintroduced pastron as pastirma. 
  12. ^ Sax, David (2009). Save the deli : in search of perfect pastrami, crusty rye, and the heart of Jewish delicatessen. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. p. 25. ISBN 9780151013845. Its origins, which may date back as far as Byzantium, can be found in Turkey, where basturma was a form of pressing spiced meat. 
  13. ^ Wright, Clifford A. (1999). A Mediterranean feast : the story of the birth of celebrated cuisines of the Mediterranean, from the merchants of Venice to the Barbary Corsairs : with more than 500 recipes. New York: William Morrow and Co. p. 742. ISBN 9780688153052. Cheese, horek, and pastirma were all known to the Byzantines 
  14. ^ Davidson, Alan (2014). The Oxford Companion to Food. Oxford University Press. p. 123. Retrieved 21 October 2014. This is certainly true of Byzantine cuisine. Dried meat, a forerunner of the pastirma of modern Turkey, became a delicacy. 
  15. ^ Smith, Bruce Kraig ; Andrew (2013). The Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America. Oxford University Press. ed. Retrieved 21 October 2014. When the Ottomans settled in Istanbul they also adopted a number of Byzantine dishes, one of which was a form of cured beef called paston and which the Turks called pastirma…. It became and remains a specialty of Kayseri in Cappadocia in west central Turkey. 
  16. ^ Irina Petrosian, David Underwood, Armenian food: fact, fiction & folklore, p. 112
  17. ^ Anagnostakis, Ilias (2013). Flavours and Delights. Tastes and Pleasures of Ancient and Byzantine Cuisine. Armos. p. 81. paston or tarichon…Cured meats were either eaten raw or cooked in pasto-mageireia with bulgur and greens, mainly cabbage. 
  18. ^ Turkish Cuisine
  19. ^ Kaneva-Johnson, p. 62
  20. ^ Turkish food, cuisine & culinary tours. Cooking workshops in Turkey
  21. ^ http://www.historyofgreekfood.org/2014/06/a-taste-of-past-pastirma.html

Bibliography[edit]

External links[edit]

  • Media related to Pastirma at Wikimedia Commons