Sakizi tarhana is a dough is prepared for the production of tarhana soup and tarhana donuts. It is made out of flour, milk, resin (sakiz), cloves, cinnamon and salt. The ingredients are fermented and then put outside to dry in the sun. Then, the tarhana can be used by adding milk to the dough, which can thus be used to make soup or donuts. The local particularities of this tarhana are that it contains resin, and that it is fried in order to make donuts. Yeast is added to the dough in order to make donuts. These are fried in oil, and are eaten after having been sprinkled with oven bread and villagers’ white cheese. The resin is a special ingredient, present in the Turkish Aegean region since the population exchanges (Mübadele) with Greece in the 1920s. Indeed, resin is produced in high quantities in the nearby Greek islands, and was thus a traditional ingredient of the Turks living on these islands. With the population exchanges, resin became an ingredient of Aegean kitchen in Turkey. For instance, it is also to be found in biscuits. A custom of Seferihisar, in central eastern Turkey, is to feed babies with sakizi tarhana dough that is diluted in milk. Sakizi tarhana is mainly produced for home consumption. The tradition of producing it has spread from generation to generation within families. As of now, there is only one cooperative selling it online. If younger generations do not continue the tradition, this unique version of tarhana made with resin may be lost.
Image: © Marco del Comune & Oliver Migliore