Baker standing in front of the “American Bakery” which displays signs in Armenian, Ladino (in Hebrew characters), English, Ottoman Turkish, Greek and Russian with samples of bread attached to the mullions, Ortaköy, Istanbul, Turkey c.1922 (Library of Congress)
fresco from the Church of the Assumption in the Gračanica Serbian Orthodox Monastery of Kosovo, detail from a scene protraying the burial of Teodor, bishop of Lipljan.
it may be interesting to note that the eyes of many Serbian frescoes were scratched out, apparently because there was once a folk belief that the powder gained from scratching out these eyes has healing abilities.
I’ve always found the regional differences in preparation of what is generally known as Turkish coffee (fine grind, typical pot, etc., i know the Turks obviously did not invent it, but i guess it came to be called as such in countries outside of the Ottoman world) to be pretty interesting. so this is what wiki says:
In Turkey, four degrees of sweetness are used. The Turkish terms and approximate amounts are as follows: sade (plain; no sugar), az şekerli (little sugar; half a level teaspoon of sugar), orta şekerli (medium sugar; one level teaspoon), and çok şekerli (a lot of sugar; one and a half or two level teaspoons). In the Arab World “sāda” (سادة plain; no sugar, meaning “black” in Arabic) or “murra” ( مرة bitter; no sugar) is common.
The coffee and the desired amount of sugar are stirred until all coffee sinks and the sugar is dissolved. Following this, the spoon is removed and the pot is put on moderate heat; if too high, the coffee comes to the boil too quickly, without time to extract the flavour. No stirring is done beyond this point, as it would dissolve the foam.
There are other schools of preparing Turkish coffee that vary from the above. Lebanese coffee starts with hot water alone, to which sugar is added and dissolved. The product is in essence a sugar syrup with a higher boiling point than water. The coffee, and cardamom if wanted, are added, and the mixture is stirred. It is then brought to a boil two or three times; the double (or triple) boiling is an essential part of the process, both ceremonially and—as connoisseurs claim—for the palate. It has the effect of subjecting the coffee grounds to hot (but not boiling) water for longer, extracting more flavour without imparting the “cooked” taste of over-boiled coffee.
In the Balkans, dominant practice is to fill the džezva with only cold water, and heat it until it boils. As the water boils coffee is added, stirred, and removed from the fire before the foam boils over. After the foam settles the pot is placed back onto the heat source so the water would boil again, releasing more caffeine and flavour. Sometimes the last step is skipped, to preserve the foam. This type of preparation is known as Bosnian coffee or Serbian coffee.
^based on my own experiences, this method seems to be the standard one throughout ex-Yugoslavian homes, including parts which weren’t Ottoman. i’ve also heard of a method, at least in Bosnia, involving first dry-heating the coffee in the pot until it becomes aromatic and then pouring boiling water over it from a seperate pot. this would be referred to as ‘baking coffee’, pečenje kafe. but maybe this stems from times when you’d buy raw coffee, grind it and first have to roast it before making coffee.
The Armenian mode of preparation is distinct in that all of the ingredients — water, the coffee grounds, and sugar (if desired) — are all combined in the pot before being heated. After the initial mixing the coffee is then heated but not stirred again until the coffee has finished brewing. The preparation process does not usually include boiling. The coffee is usually only allowed to rise once or twice, but never three times as is typical in the Lebanese mode of preparation.
In Bulgaria, the best practice of making a Turkish Coffee is boiling, or rather heating the water to just before a boil, adding the coffee grounds and waiting for the first rise. Once the foam rises, just before its peak, it is removed from the heat and poured on top of the sugar in the cups. The coffee is never to be stirred in the pot (or in the cups) and never allowed to rise over.
i also remember seeing certain techniques from Greece and Dobruja involving sand x but i could not find any more info on that. does anyone have any input on how it’s specifically made in their home regions? Greeks, Albanians, other Caucasians, maybe even Ukrainians?
Cretan muslims (Tourkokritikoi), Crete, Greece.
a drugstore in Belgrade, Serbia, some time between both World Wars. note the advertisement for Nivea cream, for night and day time.
If the Ottoman campaign could be represented in one image. “German physician, attached to the Turkish Army, mounted on a camel” (source)
Title page of the pinkes of a Bessarabian gemilut ḥesed (Charitable Society), Bacău, Bessarabia(1836).
This women’s coin belt was made in Macedonia around the turn of the 20th century.
photo of the famous pub Albanija (named after the big Serbian on-foot march to Corfu via Albania during WWI) in Belgrade, Serbia, between both World Wars, later to be demolished and replaced by the town’s first skyscraper, called Palata Albanija, still standing today.