Nourished by the traditions of many cultures, the cuisine of Asia Minor is famed for its quality and variety. Elika Pavlidou, whose family has roots in Cappadocia, draws on the age-old resource of home cooks – recipes handed down by family and friends. Her mother, deprived of a formal education by hard times and internal exile, was a gifted cook who knew how to make the most of simple ingredients. Her aunts, educated women from the upper class in Istanbul and Smyrna, handed down recipes with a European flavour.
Yoghurt is served with leg of lamb and kofte, or rissoles. Vegetables are stuffed with rice or bulghur. Spices and chili pepper add pep to sauces for meat and pasta. The cakes and biscuits are irresistible: try the tatli seker, filled and covered with chocolate; truffles made with carrot or chestnuts; Anatolian baklava with cloves; and the ouzo-infused Lenten cookies. (Ithaca Online, www.ekebi.gr).