Mediterranean Galley | Columns

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A turkish recipe by chef Musa Dagdeviren for Progetto Mediterranea




We want to discuss flavours, taste, contamination, differences and similarities in the large and fascinating melting pot of the Mediterranean cuisine, and chef Musa Dagdeviren  doesn't wait to be asked twice. "Turkey is not a uniform nation from a gastronomical point of view Tangible signs have remained here from when dozens of ethnics groups, influences, substances and aromas have passed through and lived here. That is why our cuisine is such a rich one."

(...) and prepares the Mualle (which reads muallé) for us, a dish made with beans and vegetables which comes from Antioch. And one that is rather particular: it is cooked by building a sort of castle in layers, to ensure a uniform and gradual exchange between the different ingredients. Chef Dagdeviren chops yellow onion, garlic, long and narrow green chilli peppers (which are sweet), and cherry tomatoes, which are quite big, into fairly large pieces. He flambés them by adding apparently large doses of sommaco[1], red chilli pepper, dried mint, black pepper, cumin, a pomegranate based sauce, olive oil which is similar to our oil from Liguria and a ladle of very liquid tomato sauce, cooked separately. He then tests if there enough salt, adding two extra very large pinches. After allowing the ingredients to cook but not brown, for about ten minutes, he takes a stainless steel pot and builds the castle consisting of four alternating layers: the first layer consists of a part of the vegetables; the second is a two centimetres layer of raw eggplant from which he peels off the skin in strips (leaving half of the skin on); the third layer consists of big green half-cooked lentil; and the fourth is a thick layer of parsley and twigs of fresh unchopped mint. After forming the first four layers, he starts again from the first, and does so for another five times to fill the pot. Finally, he presses the layers with the palm of his hand, squeezing them down firmly, without upsetting the different layers. He turns up the heat, and places a plate facing down on the top layer and then a pot filled with water on the top, to keep the structure under a moderate pressure. You cook this - he explains to us - at a lively heat for about ten minutes, then you turn down the heat (he actually moves the pot from the gas cooker to a charcoal fire which is half covered with ashes) and let it cook. "Turkish cuisine is slow, always!". And in fact we wait for at least an hour before the Mualle is ready.

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"Tell me three flavors..." - a survey finding the flavors of Mediterranean

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The great Marseille writer Jean-Claude Izzo, in his fiction "Garlic, Mint and Basil", identified in these three spices the final, REPRESENTATIVE, emblematic flavors of the Mediterranean. He looked at our world from Marseille, and therefore we can understand the reason for this choice.


But, which are the three flavors? which are the condiments and spices that the Mediterranean believe to be its own perfumes? Excluding food such as meat, fish, pasta, rice, bulgur, vegetables - the elements "to dress" - but including all other possible flavors, tastes, spices, scents, ingredients of our Mediterranean cuisine, which would indicate you?

From Genoa to Beirut, from Tunis to Trabzon, from Lisbon to Aqaba, from Trieste to Tripoli, in Cartagena, in Split, and Antalya ... vote your three favorite spices of the Mediterranean. At the end of the long journey of Mediterranea we will know which they are, but also continuously we will follow the evolution of the survey and will keep you updated. Vote your three flavors of the Mediterranean!

Start the survey

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A greek recipe by chef Stefanos Stefanidis for Progetto Mediterranea



Mediterranean food. Food as cultural identity, as expression of people’s history, tradition and innovation, melting tastes and flavours. Progetto Mediterranea sails and invites on board the leading figures of Mediterranean cooking, it tastes and experiences, it listens to, it speaks to, it gathers and proves. In October 2014 in Thessaloniki chef Stefanos Stefanidis from Athens prepared his recipe on board. A tribute to Mediterranea expedition, an acknowledgement to the Mediterranean sea and its shores, a fil rouge of feelings and emotions between the Mediterranean and Greece. “We are blessed by octopus”, Stefanidis said, and afterwards he started cooking.

Octopus after Stefanos for Progetto Mediterranea

Ingredients for 10 persons:

1 kg Greek fava (preferably from Santorini)

2 kg of Greek octopus

5 medium-sized carrots

4 small onions

7 lemons

5 oranges

A fresh rosemary bunch

½ teaspoon of cumin powder

Sea salt

freshly ground black pepper

1 litre extra virgin olive oil

½ litre sunflower oil

250 ml white wine vinegar

1 kg homemade bread

Kritamos* in brine

½ litre red wine

A handful of capers

Clean well and wash the octopus with water and vinegar twice even three times if necessary, and put it in a bowl. Add freshly ground black pepper, a handful of grinded fresh rosemary leaves, ½ litre red wine and a glass vinegar. Cook on a low heat, covered, for 45 minutes.

Meanwhile wash the Greek fava. Cut carrots and onions in large pieces, brown them in a large pan with high rim together with olive oil and wine, add just enough salt. When ready, add Greek fava, a lemon in pieces, a bunch of fresh rosemary, 3 spoons olive oil and cover with water. Skim frequently when cooking, then blend fava into puree. Cover with baking paper or protective film so that it sticks to the surface as to avoid it to harden, and leave it to cool. Afterwards add 2 fresh squeezed lemon juice.

Aside let a handful of washed and squeezed capers brown in little olive oil.

Cut the octopus into pieces, put it in a large bowl and cover with olive oil and sunflower oil in equal parts. Add 2 fresh squeezed orange juice, thin orange slices, fresh rosemary, 1 glass white vinegar and ½ teaspoon of cumin powder. Let it rest.

Prepare bread crouton.

Serve with 2 spoons fava puree on a bread crouton, and top it with a spoon of octopus, some capers and kritamos leaves.

*Kritamos is an edible wild plant belonging to the Crithmum maritimum specie, it is found on Mediterranean coasts, from North Africa to Europe and the Black Sea. It is commonly known as “Sea fennel” or “Samphire” or “Rock Samphire”. In Italy in the area of Monte Conero, near Ancona, it takes the dialectal name of “paccasassi” and is preserved in oil, whereas in Salento, Apulia, its leaves are withered in water and vinegar and it is known as salissia. It has extensive culinary use in fish dishes.

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Cooking: the recipe by Moreno Cedroni for Mediterranea



Summary of flavors between Italy and the Mediterranean sea

Mediterranea, during its long journey along the Mediterranean coasts, captures the best opportunities to meet, participate in several events, as protagonist or as guest of honor, relaunches messages, adheres to all the most important initiatives organized to give value to sea people, Mediterranean citizens.

Also Mediterranean cuisine is an important part of the culture and traditions of this great sea.
The Mediterranean is a mix, matching, convergence, measure. As gastronomy, food, flavors are. And if the best horizon for the Mediterranean sea is to exploit this matching, to become a single perfect body, in which the whole recipe is richer and better than the single ingredient, then the present and future history of the Mediterranean seems to be the story of a complex recipe, almost a challenge, with an extraordinary result.

To mark the start of the expedition the Michelin-starred chef Moreno Cedroni dedicated to Mediterranea Project an exclusive sea recipe, a summary of colors and flavors between Italy and the Mediterranean sea.salutare l'avvio della spedizione.

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Philosophy in a coffee

IMG 0848"Here's your coffee, Sir, coffee in Saudi born, / from Ispaan brought in by caravans. / The Arab is certainly always the best coffee (...) You want to do little; / Put you your dose, and not be paid to the fire. / Far rouse the foam, then lower to a sudden / Six, seven times at least, the coffee is done soon." (Carlo Goldoni)

The turkish coffee is, therefore, a World Heritage Site. Following the proposal made by the government of Ankara, the United Nations for Education, Science and Culture Organization has entered the 'Turk Kahvesi' in the list of intangible assets that belong to the heritage of all humanity. The Turk Kahvesi , says the president of the Commission Ocal Oguz, "famous throughout the world for its style, metod of preparation, the traditional presentation.''

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We are the History

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“ perceive itself same as interprets that they receive a witness to rebroadcast it to own time..” (Pietro Mastroberardino)

The history of a family. A family that is also a wine and of a wine that is the territory in which it is born: the Irpinia. Small part of a splendid region, Campania, full of sea and sun, and with a heart hidden of fertile and precious earth. The Irpinia is not as you waits you for it. It’s different. And it’s very beautiful.

The austere cut and angular of his mountainous profiles, the spacious sky, that seems taller than the truth, the slow rhythm of the daily life. Naples is there, to few more than half an hour of car, but the horizon of the sea, the noise and the calls of its people are distant, almost in another continent.

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