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Not to be confused with Kashk.

Kashkak, keşkek, kashkeg, kishkak, kashkek, etc. is a sort of ceremonial meat or chicken and wheat or barley stew found in Iranian, Turkish and Greek cuisines.

It is documented in Iran and Greater Syria as early as the 15th century and it is still consumed by many Iranians around the world. The origins of this dish ultimately allude to Kashk, which, in 16th- to 18th-century Iran had sheep's milk added to wheat or barley flour and meat, mixed in equal parts.[1] Keşkek is traditional for wedding breakfasts in Turkey. Under the name of κεσκέκ, κεσκέκι and κισκέκ, it is a festival dish in Lesbos[2] and Samos[3] as well as among the Pontian Greeks[4] and in Epirus[5]

Turkey's "ceremonial keşkek tradition" was listed on Unesco's Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in November 2011.[6][7] In Lesbos, keskek is prepared on summer nights when a ceremonial bull is being slaughtered, which is then cooked overnight and eaten next day with wheat.[8]

Keşkek is called "haşıl" in Northeast and Middle Anatolia regions in Turkey. In both Turkey and Iran, it is a common dish and frequently consumed during religious festivals, weddings or funerals.

Keşkek is very similar to the Armenian dish called harissa.

The Slavic word kasha may have been borrowed from the Persian kishk[9] or both may be cognate with the Sanskrit word kashaya 'medicinal drink'.[10]

The term keşkek is said to be also related to that of couscous, as the barley grain couscous was once used to prepare keşkek.[dubious ]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ see Aubaile-Sallenave
  2. ^ Caragh Rockwood - Fodor's Greece 1997
  3. ^ Γιουβέτσι με στάρι
  4. ^ Κεσκέκ (Παραδοσιακό ποντιακό φαγητό)
  5. ^ see Aglaia Kremezi - 'Γιουβέτσι με στάρι' ('Giouvetsi with wheat')
  6. ^ Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, Nomination file 00388
  7. ^ "Turkish dish and Korean tightrope walking join UN intangible heritage list", UN News Center 28 November 2011
  8. ^ Greece, by Paul Hellander, Lonely Planet series
  9. ^ Gil Marks, Encyclopedia of Jewish Food, p. 314
  10. ^ Aubaile-Sallenave, p. 109, note 7
  • Françoise Aubaile-Sallenave, "Al-Kishk: the past and present of a complex culinary practice", in Sami Zubaida and Richard Tapper, A Taste of Thyme: Culinary Cultures of the Middle East, London and New York, 1994 and 2000, ISBN 1-86064-603-4. excerpts

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