Lahmacun row opens new front in Turkish-Greek culture war
ISTANBUL - Daily News with Wires | 3/16/2011 12:00:00 AM |
Recent Greek Cypriot claims that lahmacun is a Greek dish have angered Turks, adding a new chapter to a long-running culinary battle about who invented what food.
Recent Greek Cypriot claims that lahmacun, a thin-crust snack food topped by minced meat, is a Greek dish have angered Turks, adding a new chapter to a long-running culinary battle about who invented what food.
Greek Cyprus attendants at the International Food and Drink Event in London this week presented “lachmazou” to visitors, defining the food as a “traditional Cyprus home-made pastry.” The culinary claim reportedly angered Turkish visitors to the fair.
“I won’t say anything about Greeks copying baklava and lahmacun from us [Turks] but they can’t manage to make either,” said businessman Hüseyin Özer, who was attending the fair. According to Özer, the “lachmazou” lacked taste in comparison to lahmacun made in Turkey.
Lahmacun belongs to the area from around the southeastern Turkish provinces of Şanlıurfa and Gaziantep, Özer said.
In addition to lahmacun and baklava, Greeks and Turks have both claimed cultural ownership rights of döner kebap, as well as the shadow puppet play, Hacıvat and Karagöz.
The Gaziantep Commerce Chamber received EU Commission approval in 2009 to sell baklava as a Turkish cuisine but it is still being sold in Europe as a “traditional Greek pastry” with packages that feature Greek flags, according to reports.
Lahmacun, or “Meat with dough,” is an item of prepared food originating in the early Syrian cuisine of the Levant, consisting of a round, thin piece of baked dough topped with minced meat – usually beef and lamb. Lahmacun is often served sprinkled with lemon juice and wrapped around vegetables, including pickles, tomatoes, peppers, onions, lettuce, and parsley or cilantro.
The International Food and Drink Event, or IFE 2011, is being held in the British capital March 15-18. It is considered the fifth largest food and drink event worldwide.