Monday, July 22, 2013

Three Dimensional Reconstruction of the Interior Sanctuary of Hagia Sophia

Three Dimensional Reconstruction of the Interior Sanctuary of Hagia Sophia

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Byzantine Cuisine: Flavors from Constantinople:

Byzantine Recipe

Byzantium cuisine was very fond of fragrant spices. Salt was a main export item and rare spices precious imports. The fragrant flavor of roses was also much loved. This spicy fragrant salt-mix will add a touch of Byzantine breeze to any of your dishes, and surely more so on your grilled fish. I get my spices from Ucuzcular Baharat No:51 at the Spice Bazaar. Ask the owners - sister and brother Bilge and Ahmet - about the pink peppercorns and dried rose buds, they also stock artificial musk (the real one is non-existent worldwide) and good quality Iranian saffron.

Put a handful of each dried roses and pink peppercorns into a blender together with a 2-3 cm stick of cinnamon, 2-3 pieces of mace, and a few cloves. Blend roughly, taking care that the mixture remains grainy rather than powdery. Mix with 2 cups of sea-salt. Put the spiced salt in clean mussel shells for a purple Byzantine touch on your table.

Byzantine Fork

Byzantine cuisine was all about sea food. They mastered the art of curing, drying, and conserving the bounty of the sea. The legacy of Byzantine still survives in certain delicacies in Istanbul. Both Doğa Balık and Cankurtaran in the Spice Bazaar stock good stuff. At Doğa Balık you can get good botargo, “balık yumurtası” in Turkish, cured, dried grey mullet fish roe sealed in beeswax. They also stock real caviar from the Caspian Sea, but you have to ask for the real stuff, not the fish flavored gelatine beads. At Cankurtaran you can find good quality botargo and also wonderful anchovy paste and fish roe in tubes, and sumptuous lakerda, cured bonito.

Byzantine Cork

Byzantines loved their wine with roses. Make your own wine punch with roses, this simple recipe is very feminine and will definitely make you feel like Empress Zoe. For a more masculine kick have some crushed peppercorns and a grating of cinnamon added, you’ll be amazed by the contrast of flavors. Mix in a large serving punch bowl or giant jug, ½ cup of rose syrup, ½ cup of rose water, 1 cup of vanilla flavored vodka, 2 bottles of rosé wine, all well chilled. Add plenty of ice cubes and a handful of unsprayed rose petals for decoration. If you can find, you can also use syrup of violets to give a purplish Byzantine hue.

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