Cağ kebabı in best dishes list of 2022
TasteAtlas, a travel guide for traditional food across the globe, has added cağ kebabı to its “top 10 best food in 2022” list.
The global encyclopedia of food announced their top 50 best dishes and cuisines from around the world in their 2022 awards, based on audience votes for ingredients, dishes and drinks.
Cağ kebabı, a kebab variety originating from the northeastern province of Erzurum, ranked ninth in TasteAtlas’ list.
“I would like the cağ kebabı to be the first or the second, but it gave us great pride to represent Türkiye as the ninth among many countries,” said Kemal Koç, known as the inventor of the traditional dish. “Our kebab has now spread around the world and even China asked us for a head chef.”
Cağ kebab is a kebab from the Ottoman period, he informed. His serving it on cağ (kebab skewer), not on plate, gave the dish its name.
It is made with lamb that is marinated with onions, salt, and pepper for about 12 hours, and the meat is then placed on a big horizontal skewer and cooked over a wood fire.
The usta (master of his trade) will take a long skewer and slice off tender and succulent pieces of lamb until the skewer is full. The dish is traditionally consumed either straight from the skewer, or with the meat wrapped in warm, freshly baked lavash flatbread.
“I also have a place in Antalya, they come there from all over the world to eat cağ kebabı,” he said, noting that he had only four tables when he started this business.
“The world has just discovered cağ kebabı, we discovered it years ago. When I first saw the list, I shared it everywhere. I was very pleased that people abroad knew about this flavor,” said Melikşah Tekin, a citizen in the region.
Cağ kebabı should have been in the top five, according to Halil Çetinkaya, who came from the Aegean province of İzmir with his friends to eat it. “There is no flavor like this. I recommend it to everyone.”
The top five “best traditional dishes” in the world by TasteAtlas’ list are Kare (Japan), Picanha (Brazil), Ameijoas a Bulhao Pato (Portugal), Tangbao (China) and Guotie (China), respectively.
“We are honored and proud that cağ kebabı is ranked ninth among the world’s delicacies,” said Cengiz Meralde, a business manager in the city, adding that foreign tourists do not leave without eating it.
Palandöken Mountain, a high tectonic mountain in Erzurum, contributes to the promotion of the dish to the world, he said.
The ski trail is the longest in the country. Because of the quality of the snow (a fine-grained light powder), steepness of the slopes and the length of the trail, Palandöken is known as the best mountain in Türkiye for skilled skiers.
Italian cuisine topped the list of the world’s best cuisines, followed by Greek, Spanish and Japanese cuisines, respectively.
TasteAtlas is an experiential travel guide for traditional food that collates authentic recipes, food critic reviews, and research articles about popular ingredients and dishes.
Describing itself as “a world atlas of traditional dishes, local ingredients, and authentic restaurants,” it features an interactive global food map with dish icons shown in their respective regions and purportedly contains nearly 10,000 dishes, drinks, and ingredients, as well as 9,000 restaurants.