Antalya restaurant serving up ancient Roman dishes
ANTALYA – Anadolu AgencyPeckish for the fare that graced the tables of caesars, legionaries or your normal plebeian? Then look no further than a new restaurant in Antalya started by a Japanese academic who serves dishes from the Roman era.
“Foods like olive oil, fish, fish oil and watercress were used intensely 2,000 years ago. The dishes in the restaurant are generally from the Roman-era kitchen,” said Kaoti Goto, a professor at Japan’s Gunma University Anatomy and Genetics Department.
Yemek Doktoru (Galenus Farm), to provide the tastes of two millennia ago after reading about the story of Dr. Galen of Pergamon.
Galenos cured people while recommending that they eat healing plants that he had discovered, Goto said, noting that she was now preparing dishes using these plants at the restaurant in special earthenware clay pots.
Goto came to Turkey in 2011 and did research in Pergamon, examining the plants there. She subsequently began preparing dishes after conducting exhaustive research on ancient sources.
Noting that she had discovered a delectable sauce during her research, Goto said: “This sauce has been used for 2,000 years. Its name is mentioned in old resources as ‘Garum sauce.’ After learning how to prepare it, I came to Turkey and met Havva Bahadır from the Black Sea province of Trabzon. I gave the recipe of the sauce to her and she was very successful in preparing it. The 2,000-year-old sauce was a seasoning in the Black Sea until 50 years ago.”
She said cuisine culture survived in the Black Sea region by being transferred from mothers to children and grandchildren, and that some dishes that she discovered in ancient books were still being prepared in the region. “This is very interesting. In my opinion, it should be included in the UNESCO World Heritage List,” she added.
“When I finish my studies, I plan to open a restaurant in Japan,” said the academic.
Customers from Istanbul and Ankara
Bahadır said she learned how to cook the 2,000-year-old dishes thanks to Goto’s recipes, adding that it was not easy at first but that she eventually became accustomed. “Since the dishes are different, Turks found them odd in the beginning,” Bahadır said.
“But after tasting them, people loved the dishes. We have customers even from Istanbul and Ankara. We are now in the testing stage. We offer a new dish to people every few months. Ancient dishes like ‘Ancient Perge Lagane,’ ‘Galenus Volcano Meatball’ and ‘Attalia Lagane’ are among the most popular ones.”
At the same time, teas made from healing plants are also proving popular at the restaurant, Bahadır said.
Who is Galen?
Galen was a prominent Greek physician, surgeon and philosopher in the Roman Empire. He influenced the development of various scientific disciplines, including anatomy, physiology, pathology, pharmacology, and neurology, as well as philosophy and logic.
Many of his works have been preserved and/or translated from the original Greek, although many were destroyed and some credited to him are believed to be spurious.
Galen is believed to have been born in 129 A.D. and was said to have passed away at the age of 87.