Tour to the land of roses
ISTANBULThe Turkish Cultural Foundation’s Culinary Arts Center YESAM in Istanbul has organized a cultural journey to the heart of the rose.
Between May 29 and 31, YESAM invites people on a special cultural and culinary adventure to witness the rose harvest in the western province of Isparta and discover the beauty, fragrance and taste of the rose. The tour will be guided by journalist and food culture researcher Aylin Öney Tan, who has done an extensive study on the culinary culture of the Antique city of Sagalassos and the history and uses of rose within Ottoman and Turkish culinary culture.
The rose holds a unique place in Turkish art and history and has been a symbol of elegance, sanctity and love, as well as the subject of poems, hymns and enchanted tales. In addition, roses are cherished in Turkey for their fragrance, healing and cosmetic properties and their delicate taste. They are used in producing rose oil and rose water, as well as in confectionary, including Turkish delight.
Over the centuries, Isparta has become a center of rose oil and rose water production in Anatolia. This process began with Müftüzade İsmail Efendi, an Ottoman official stationed in Kızanlık (in today’s Bulgaria) in the late 19th century, who observed the cultivation of roses and rose oil production in the strictly guarded “Rose Valley” of the region.
İsmail Efendi brought back a rose cutting to Isparta, planted it in his own garden and began growing roses. He later used a still to produce the first rose oil in Isparta in 1892. His love of roses quickly spread, turning Isparta into the rose capital of Turkey.
For more information and reservations, please call 444 4 287.