Ottoman Palace Cuisine of the Classical Period
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Table of contents
- 1. Introduction
- 2. The Organization of the Kitchen and the Structure of Personnel
- 3. Food Supply for the Palace
- 4. Food Culture of the Palace
- 4.1. General Features
- 4.2. Bread
- 4.3. Dishes
- 4.4. Sweets and Pickles
- 4.5. Drinks
- 5. Conclusion
- 6. Further reading
- 6.1. Articles on food, agriculture, cuisine and cookery published on www.MuslimHeritage.com
- 6.2. Publications and online resources on the Islamic cuisine
Note of the editor
This article was first published in Turk Mutfagi (Turkish Cuisine), edited by Arif Bilgin-Ozge Samanci, Ankara: Kultur ve Turizm Bakanligi Yayinlari, 2008 (read our review of the book: Turkish Cuisine: A Book Review). We are grateful to Dr. Arif Bilgin, author of the article and to the publishers of the book, the Turkish Ministry of Culture, for allowing publication. The version we publish was edited anew, and it was augmented with the final section containing further resources on Ottoman, Turkish and Islamic cuisines.***
Palace cuisine is the culmination of Ottoman cuisine in terms of organization, refinement of palate and food culture. The term 'Ottoman cuisine' must refer to kitchen combinations from a substantially broad regional range. In other words, the culinary culture of each of the Ottoman domains must be included within this concept. Considerable portions of the Arabic world, North Africa, the Balkans, Northern Black Sea, Anatolia, Aegean Isles, the Caucasus and the Persian zone must be included in this frame. Ottoman cuisine reflects a format derived from aspects of the cultures belonging to this vast geography, yet shaped according by the Turkish subjects' cultural richness and habits.
We can cite three main factors contributing to the creation of Ottoman cuisine in general and palace cuisine in particular.
1. Habits inherited from Central Asia.: The continuation of meat and milk based eating habits of Turks (generated by their Central Asian lifestyles and caused by the peculiarity of the geography) during the Ottoman period clearly indicates its longevity.
Figure 1: Sherbet Makers (Şerbetçiler), from Surnâme-i Hümayun, Topkapi Palace Museum Library, MS H. 1344, folio 238a.
2. The influence of Arabic and Persian cultures during the migrations: During the period of migration to Anatolia, Turks benefited from the eating habits and foods of the countries where they stayed. Adopted elements of Persian and Arabian cultures during this process remained in the Ottoman culinary culture up to the 19th Century. The most significant evidence indicating this interaction are Arabic or Persian dishes and food product names. Nonetheless, it is known that the food picked up from these two cultural basins was changed in content and adapted to the Turkish palate.
3. Acquaintance with Anatolian staples or the influence of the Byzantine cuisine: In the 15th century, the Ottomans preferred fruit, vegetables and greens in their diet more than ever. Neither in Central Asia nor during the period of the Great Seljuk's had they consumed such abundant fresh produce. Thus, it would not be wrong to assume that the Turks immediately started consuming new produce that had recently become available to them.
However, the primary concern here is, did Turks learn to utilize these products by themselves or did they receive help in this from Byzantine Greeks? Although, we encounter elements in the Turkish kitchen showing us the Byzantine effect , unfortunately we are concrete information is not available to show us the areas and the dimensions of this mutual effect.
In this study, we are mainly going to explore three significant subjects in the Ottoman palace kitchen: organization, provisioning and food culture .
2. The Organization of the Kitchen and the Structure of Personnel
Since we do not have sufficient information about the organization of the kitchens in the palaces of Bursa and Edirne, we are going to discuss only the kitchen organization of Topkapi Palace, with the following exception: until the reign of Murad II the çaşnigirs (tasters) provided a food service to the Ottoman Sultans. During this next period, this service was transferred to a newly established foundation of head butlership (kilercibaşilik) and the range of services provided by çaşnigirs was limited to external services (such as food presentation for the members of the Court) . In the early period, the palace catering groups who provided a food service were not limited to servants and butlers as a considerable number of cooking groups also existed. Sources of the era yield almost no information regarding the said class and kitchen organization.
It has become obvious that the palace kitchen organization known as Matbah-i Âmire Emâneti (The Office of Imperial Kitchen Superintendent) was established for the first time during Mehmed II's period in the Topkapi Palace. Then as we understand from its name, Matbah-i Âmire was an administrative unit run by an emîn (superintendent). These superintendents had the rank of Imperial Court Masters (Hâcegân-i Divan-i Hümayun) and they worked under a chief known, as iç kilercibaşi (inner butler) who had authority to give submissions to the sultans. The inner butler was a chief of the Kiler Odasi (Office of Pantry) in the Enderun (Inner Apartments) and at the same time, he oversaw the entire kitchen personnel. He authorised employing new personnel, increasing salaries and he would decide on the promotion of personnel, which became necessary when other staff were promoted or left. However, responsibility for the disciplining of personnel and implementation of penal sanctions was left to the superintendents and their assistants.
The duties of the kitchen superintendent were not too limited. He was obliged to regularly provide the palace kitchens' foodstuffs and to organize distribution of the provisions. The superintendent, in this role, with the support of his assistants, used to determine the quantity of consumables and to issue necessary orders accordingly. Additionally, supervising the costs and revenue of the premises was the duty of superintendent. He was also in charge of receiving the treasury allotment and with this money, he used to do the necessary procurement and make payments to the concerned parties for other expenses. Moreover, every superintendent, for each Hegira year he was in office was obliged to explain his expenditure to the revenue office. Therefore, he had to register the costs and revenue of his premises in the ledgers every year.
Kitchen superintendents were often selected from among the çaşnigir, çavuş (palace guards) and müteferrika (one of the elite corps of the Imperial Household) of the Dergâh-i Âlî (Sultans Court). When they were nominated, they initially received a considerable increase in their salaries, as well as having the allowance of a sinecure fief fee along with many other benefits.
The Sultan's Kitchen clerk (kâtib-i Matbah-i Âmire) and chief cook (ser-tabbâhîn-i hassa) were attendants (or assistants) of the Superintendent and assisted him with administrative affairs . In the palace kitchens, a large number of clerks were employed. Of these, the most important ones were the Sultan's Kitchen clerk. Others were storehouse clerks, tallying provisions going in and out of the palace storehouse (Kilâr-i Amire).
The clerks of the Sultan's Kitchen who were also known as the head scribe's clerks, were generally nominated from of kitchen while storehouse clerks were chosen from the butlers. The most important task of the clerks of the Sultan's Kitchen was to keep their balance sheet accounts. Clerks also carried out the task of controlling the entire accounts of the trust.
Figure 2: View of Topkapi Palace from the sea. (Source: L'Illustration: Journal universel, Tome: LXVII, Paris 1876; Coşkun Yilmaz Archive).
The chief cook who was the master (üstad) and head of the Private Kitchen (Matbah-i Has) was at the same time the chief officer of the entire kitchen personnel. Chief cooks, in a way, were acting as steward (kethudâ). The Chief cooks' other responsibilities, besides overseeing kitchen staff, were controlling the cooking of meals, taking delivery of kitchen personnel wages and apparel, and handling and keeping the tableware etc.
The Sultan's Kitchen was organized into several units and service branches. The most significant two units of the Office of the Kitchen Superintendent were the kitchens where food for the palace household was prepared and the Helvahâne (Confectionery Kitchen) buildings, which covered the entire right side of the second courtyard and consisted of ten different sections. Eight of them were kitchen buildings named according to the class they served, such as Has (Privates), Divân (Court), Aǧalar (Elders) etc. The other two sections were assigned to the Confectionery Kitchen. While the palace household food was prepared in the kitchens, an assortment of sweets, jams and juices like compotes and syrups, pastes and pickles were prepared in the Confectionery Kitchen.
In the third courtyard of the palace, there was a separate kitchen, called a Kuşhâne. Although not belonging to the Office of the Kitchen Superintendent this kitchen, where skilful chefs of the Sultan's Kitchen worked, provided a catering service to the sultan and prominent members of the Inner Apartments. Pageboys belonging to the office of pantry also served in this kitchen. The Kuşhane might also have served the two meals for the kitchens belonging to the Office of Superintendent.
Cooks working in the palace kitchens were divided into three classes; üstâd (master), halîfe (headman) and şâkird (apprentice). Apprentices were further divided into smaller sections and were also split amongst themselves into squads. At the head of each squad was assigned a captain. Above all the cooks was a chief cook who supervised the entire Trust staff. Overseeing the confectioners, who were similarly organized, was a ser-halvaciyân-i hassa (head of the confectioners).
Other units associated with the Office of Superintendent were: a storehouse where provisions were stored (Kilâr-i Âmire); ovens (Firin-i Has and Firin-i Harcî) where bread and other bakery items were cooked; a butchery (kârhâne-i kassâbîn) where sheep and fowl purchased for the palace were slaughtered and prepared; a poultry workshop (kârhâne-i mâkiyân); a yogurt-makers workshop (kârhâne-i mastgerân) where milk and dairy products were produced; a paraffin workshop (kârhâne-i şem‘gerân) where the palace's candle requirements were met; a greens house (sebzehâne) where purchased vegetables were cleaned and prepared ready for cooking; a freshwater supplier (sakahâne) who provided water to the palace kitchens; a compound (mirî mandira) where cattle belonging to the palace were cared for and which produced clarified butter and cheese from their milk; and a workshop located in Bursa (simid kârhânesi) which was responsible for the purchasing of wheat from the Southern Marmara region and milling and transporting it to the palace. All these groups working in this unit adopted names corresponding to the range of their services: pantry men (kilâriyân), bakers (habbâzîn), butchers (kassâbîn), and poultry-men (mâkiyâniyân).
Included among the Office of Superintendent employees were; seasonally employed snow and icemen (buzcuyân), healing herb pickers (aşşâbân), unofficial serving petty officers (müteferrikagân), low salaried staff (eytâm) whose fathers were former chief cooks and a wheat-pounder from the Beykoz mill who ground wheat for cooking. Finally, it should be mentioned that the bakery branch — one of the service groups whose responsibility was to purchase the produce and prepare it according to their branches — was divided into three subgroups as cooks (pişiriciyân), dough mixers (hamurgerân) and sifters (elekçiyân).
Palace kitchen personnel in the beginning were originally vassals (gulâm). That is, they were non-Muslim recruits. They had been recruited as conscript pages, then at the request of the chief pantry man Chief Commander of the Janissaries, were assigned to the service of Sultan's Kitchen. After serving as conscript pages for a while, they were transferred to one of kitchen units as footmen. But the basis of vassal origin personnel begun to change by the 16th century. In this century, relatives of kitchen personnel started to get employment in the kitchens.
Figure 3: Palace Kitchens: Kitchen alleyway from Halva Kitchen to Royal Storeroom.
When we look at the assignment records of the era we can see cooks' sons (üstâd oǧlanlari), siblings of the vassals (kul karindaşlari), brothers of headmen and apprentices. This situation indicates a parallelism with Metin Kunt's thesis about the change of the vassal structure of governor-generals and sanjak governors by the 16th century. If the attitude change in the appointments of high level bureaucrats also reflected on kitchen staff, who used to be considered as low level public servants, then we can reach the conclusion that the structure of vassal origin recruitment begun to break down by the 16th century and staff of Muslim origin begun to take the place of vassals.
Reports of cooks from the Bolu region entering and dominating the palace kitchen during the reign of Mehmed II reign are baseless. The running of the palace kitchen based on conscript pages, master boys and vassal siblings continued until the 18th century. Therefore, an influx of urban dwellers into palace kitchens did not occur until this period. The first influx into the palace kitchens took place during the Damat İbrahim Pasha Period with the employment of cooks from the Nevşehir region. The domination of Pasha's fellow townsmen in most of the palace as well as in the kitchens continued until the abolishment of the Janissary corps. The friendship of cooks from the Nevşehir region with the Janissaries had reached a level that worried the palace lords, and after the abolition of the corps, fear of the lords resulted in the removal of these cooks from their posts. The heavy employment of cooks from the Bolu region coincides with this period . The preference for cooks from Bolu over kitchen personnel from the Nevşehir region also proves that cooks from Bolu had the reputation of being excellent cooks — at least in Istanbul.
The number of palace kitchen employees increased continuously in line with the expansion of the state. However, we should mention that the increase in staff numbers in the second half of the 16th century suggest staff numbers were in excess of requirement. When we compare the increase in the consumption of staple foods and the increase in the number of personnel, we can see that the latter was much higher. Such a comparison is based on the assumption that the amount of consumption is in line with the number of persons served. Consequently, we can easily say that there was no correlation between the increase in the personnel giving service and the increase of people receiving that service. As a matter of fact, writers of the era, complain about the excess of kitchen personnel . This criticism was probably noted because in 1594 Ferhad Pasha reduced the number of personnel by paying compensation to 136 pantry men, which had been 286 in total . These reductions continued into the first half of the 17th century.
The following facts illustrate the changes mentioned above: The number of kitchen staff was around 100 during the reign of Mehmed II (1451-1481) and during the final years of reign of Sultan Bayezid II (1481-1512) this number had reached 160; at the beginning of the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent this number exceeded 250 and towards the final years of his reign this number reached 500; on the accession to the throne of Selim II (1566) together with those who came from the prince's sancak of Manisa, the number of staff had reached 600; during the final years of Murad III (1574-1595) staff numbers exceeded 1000; during the period between the throne of Mehmed III (1595-1603) and the middle of 17th century, in a space of about 60 years a 30% increase brought numbers into the 1300s. Although the numbers of permanent kitchen personnel was limited, we must not forget the existence of young conscript pages (acemi oǧlan) who were not included in this number since they were not registered as permanent. Towards the end of the 16th century, it is likely that more than 200 young conscript pages were employed in the kitchens and associated premises.
Figure 4: Aşçilar Mescidi (Masjid of Cooks). Wooden building and kitchen chimneys.
Figure 5: The Superintendent of the Kitchen Halil Efendi, who was promoted to Royal wedding feasts superintendent. (Source: Surnâme-i Vehbi, Topkapi Palace Museum Library, MS H. 3593, folio 12b).
In the second half of the 17th century, there were no large-scale changes in the numbers of personnel, and they had even reduced in number. In 1660, the number of staff went up to 1370 and in 1665 increased to 1372 but then during the last quarter of the century, it went down to 1253 and, up to the beginning of the 18th century, it remained at the same level.
The most important income for the workers of the Sultan's Kitchen was their quarterly salary (ulûfe). Like every military class member, kitchen personnel received their salaries according to a calculation of their daily wages. The amounts of daily wages were determined according to stature, seniority, achievement and quality of the work performed. After the superintendent and clerk, the chief cook received the highest daily wages. Excepting the salaries of the superintendent and clerk who received their salary from another office, the daily wages of personnel in 1478 were between half a silver coin (akça) and 10 silver coins; in 1631 that changed to being between 2 silver coins and 55 silver coins, with the chief cook receiving the former and the apprentice the latter. Upon entering a new career, the apprentice received half a silver coin in the 15th century but by the 16th century, this amount had increased to 1 silver coin and at the end of the century it increased to 2 silver coins. Sometimes two different people who were doing the same job could have an almost 18-fold salary difference but resentment never occurred between them. The reason for this is that the understanding of the concept of 'the more you work the more you get' was the basis of Ottoman personnel management so that every worker, regardless of his years in service, had the opportunity to increase his daily wage by performing "exceptional service".
The palace kitchen personnel mostly wore underwear and long shirts made out of linen with sashes around their waists and conical hats on their heads. In winter seasons, senior personnel wore winter green clothes made out of broadcloth while other personnel wore dark blue. In every Erbaîn , the chief cook distributed these garments, which were made in Thessaloniki, to his staff.
During the reign of Mehmed II assistant cooks wore blue coloured dresses (câme-i kebûd), shirts (pîrehen), underwear (zîr-câme) and conical hats (külâh), sashes (kuşak) and baggy trousers (çakşir) made from Bursaian velvet and shoes (pabuç). In later outfit records, the last four are mentioned. During the reign of Sultan Bayezid II in addition to the underwear and shirts, which were distributed to all staff, a shoulder shawl made out of lordin broadcloth for the administrators of the catering groups, a raincoat (bârânî) for the middle class personnel and a dress called a mirahurî for the low class personnel were also provided. Flordin is an expensive fabric. Made of dark blue broadcloth the difference between the bârânî and mirahurî was the use of more cloth and intricate seaming in the former.
Figure 6: Allotment Ledger: First pages of an allotment made to tables of elites during the game organization of Sultan. (Source: Ottoman Archive of Prime Ministery, D. BŞM 10523, pp. 4-5).
Figure 7: Chief Cook Mouradgea d'Ohsson. (Source: Tableau général de L'Empire Othoman, III/2, Paris 1820; Coşkun Yilmaz Archive).
During the first half of the 17th century, the shoulder shawl (eyin) was replaced with another shoulder shawl called the kaba. However neither of them were mentioned in the records from the middle of the century; only the sobraman is mentioned. It would therefore appear that in the middle of the 17th century the distribution of eyin and kaba ceased and they were replaced by a sobraman, which was made from green coloured and expensive broadcloth.
3. Food Supply for the Palace
Provisioning was one of the biggest problems of pre-industrial societies. Every state was obliged to make arrangements in order to feed their subjects and particularly people living in the big cities. Owing to their dense populations and citizens of a higher class, cities such as Rome, Paris, London and Istanbul had to pay special attention to provisioning .
Topkapi Palace had the appearance of a miniature city within the capital. Maintaining a population of 4 to 5 thousand people at the beginning of the 16th century, this palace kept and employed more than 10 thousand people by the beginning of the 17th century. Including as it did, the most prominent empire classes, the feeding of this crowded population depended on having reliable organization. Centralized management had established an excellent network for provisioning and had set up the most modern kitchen organization of the era.
The palace was the residence for both the Sultan and for members of the dynasty as well as being the centre for the administrative mechanism, therefore due to its dual function; special attention was given to the provisioning of the palace. One firm indicator of this was the recognition of priority rights for the palace clerks in terms of procurement allowing them the choice of the best of the best (the right of monopoly). In fact, in terms of purchases made both from Istanbul markets and from provincial markets, the selling of any produce to customers before the palace was prohibited. The reason for giving priority to the palace was not only to prevent the possibility of shortages but also to provide the palace with the best quality products. Even in cases where the supply was greater than the demand, if the priority right had not been utilized a shortage in food supplies could have occurred, because if the high quality of food ingredients were not supplied to the imperial kitchens, low quality ones were given. If the palace household did not demand these goods, an artificial shortage could emerge.
Provisions for the palace were supplied by Istanbul markets and from the countryside. All perishable food items and most other food products were purchased from Istanbul markets. Therefore, there was a close relation between provisioning of the palace and the provisioning of the capital city. However, for staple food products provincial markets were preferred, to prevent the people of Istanbul from experiencing food shortages. For example, almost the entire amount of basic food products such as sugar and rice were supplied from the provinces. In the cuisine ledgers, a term mübâyaa for the direct purchases from Istanbul markets and a term havâle for the purchases made from provincial towns was used. As a system of provincial provisioning havâle expressed the responsibility of the local administrators whose task was to provide certain items. In this context, for the expenses of local sources providing supplies, the central treasury was utilized. Such an application could be seen as a precaution for preventing cash outflow from the central treasury, aside from the difficulty of transferring the money. Within the system of havâle, goods were provided by the methods of irsaliye and ocaklik. İrsaliye meant local administrators to Istanbul shipped goods and the expenses of this process were met by local income sources. Instead of İrsaliye, the system of ocaklik needed to be implemented at the beginning of 17th century. The difference between ocaklik and irsaliye was that the sources of income used for the former were stable and unchangeable. The system of ocaklik was able remove the problems in provisioning and for this reason were used in most of the provisioning areas within a very short period.
Figure 8: Ceremony on the Second Courtyard of Topkapi Palace. (Source: Melling, Voyage Pittoresque de Constantinople et de Bosphore, Paris 1819; Coşkun Yilmaz Archive).
There were several stages within the so-called "supplying process" which started with listing the required amounts of goods and went through to their transportation and arrival at the palace. For procurements, there were different stages; in the first stage the kitchen superintendent would decide on the quantity of the items and where to buy them; for that he would write order (ferman) to the authorities and would assign procurement clerks for purchasing. Upon the arrival of the clerk to the area, a second stage would commence. With the edict in his hand and carrying certain rights and privileges and with the help of local authority, he would buy the requested items, store them and then arrange their shipment to Istanbul. The kitchen superintendent was primarily responsible for the tasks summarized in the first stage. The second stage in this process, or implementation of procurement was also the responsibility of kitchen superintendent. Responsibility for carrying out the second stage, the smooth implementation of supplying, was left to the provisional clerks and local administrators, but centralized administration continued to fulfil its role in inspection and handling.
The areas for buying provisions were scattered over a large and geographically diverse lands. However, some regions were obvious centres for supplying food to the palace, including southern and northern parts of Marmara, Eastern Anatolia, the Aegean Islands, Balkans, Wallachia and Moldavia, Egypt, Cyprus and Feodosiya. Bursa and the valleys of the Southern Marmara region, in today's Greece, provided the palace with wheat; Wallachia, Moldavia and the Balkans provided sheep; Egypt and Plovdiv provided rice; Feodosiya clarified butter; and finally Egypt and Cyprus supplied sugar. These areas could meet almost all items the palace required.
The consumption of these items changed significantly between the 15th and 17th centuries. From the end of the 15th century to the middle of the 17th century, there were increases in the annual consumption of flour from 380 to 1500 tons; in mutton consumption from 15000 to 90000 carcasses; in rice consumption from 900 to 1200 tons; clarified butter consumption from 44 to 200 tons and finally sugar consumption from 5 to 67 tons. In this period, the highest recorded increase observed in the palace was for sugar. Although quickly becoming a popular sweetener sugar had still not overtaken the preference for honey.
Most of the food products, with the exception of sugar, were used to feed the palace household. However, certain goods were reserved solely for members of the dynasty and upper level administration. Meat from sheep, duck, pigeon and goose, certain fruits, dairy products such as clotted cream (kaymak) and caciocavallo cheese (kaşkaval), caviar, and beverages and pastes made out of fruit and healing herbs were served only to the elite. It is worth mentioning that the palace household did not consume beef or goat's meat.
Figure 9: Kuşhane Kitchen. Kuşhane Kitchen's chimney.
For ease of shipment of provisions to the palace in Istanbul, regions with access to sea transportation were preferred and chosen deliberately. Shipping over the land was relatively slow and costly compared to sea. Yet despite the drawbacks of land shipment demands for food products from the inland regions was never abandoned. Nonetheless, almost all perishable foods were sourced from either nearby places or from areas suitable for the short-distance sea trade.
For the transportation of provisions bought from the countryside, carts and camels, packhorses and mules were used for overland shipping and different type of boats and caiques for sea routes. For shipping on the Sea of Marmara at kayiǧi, frigate, caique, şayka and karamürsel were used. On the Mediterranean Sea, the types of vessels used were rowboats such as karamürsel, iǧrip, şayka, frigate and galley as well as sailing ships such as galleon and burtun. The most preferred modes of sea transport were karamürsel, iǧrip and burtun. For large shipments they usually used merchant marine vessels; especially for voyages from Egypt where a navy ship would escort them.
The period for transporting palace provisions both by land and by sea was relatively limited. In fact, this was the case for almost all transportation activities throughout the Ottoman classical period. For the period of shipment archival documents contain expressions such as "vakt ü mevsimiyle" (in time and season) and "mevsim-i deryâ ile" (season for sea transportation), meaning the period extending from spring to November was ideal for transporting items. In the early spring months, the roads were of limited use due to heavy rains and winter flooding. The best shipping times with the least risks on the Mediterranean Sea were the end of early spring and beginning of the autumn. The best shipping period for the Black Sea was limited to six weeks starting from August 15 and ending 30 September. Since navigation was relatively safe on the inner seas such as the Aegean and Marmara, transportation could take place for longer periods.
When comparing damage incurred while transporting the goods, we can see that land shipment was always safer. Apart from the threats of bandits, the causes of damage during land transportation were rain and rain-affected muddy roads. Despite some small-scale losses over land, the damage caused by stormy weather and piracy via sea routes was apparently much higher. For instance, in 1604 there had been a shipment of rice from Egypt to Istanbul, but only one quarter of the annual consumption of the palace arrived due to said difficulties at sea. Nevertheless, we should also underline that such damage to cargo was quite rare.
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 Süheyl Ünver, "Türkiye Gida Hijyeni Tarihinde Fatih Devri Yemekleri", İstanbul Risaleleri 3, Istanbul 1995, pp. 152-154.
 This article is based on the following works: Arif Bilgin, Osmanli Saray Mutfaǧi (1453-1650), Istanbul 2004; op.cit. "Seçkin Mekânda Seçkin Damaklar: Osmanli Sarayinda Beslenme Alişkanliklari (15.-17. Yüzyil)", Yemek Kitabi, ed. by Sabri Koz, Istanbul 2002, pp. 35-75.
 Tayyarzâde Ahmed Atâ, Târih-i Atâ, I, Istanbul, undated, p. 34.
 Although certain studies mention a steward who helped the superintendent with administrative issues, there was no such officer. (Barnette Miller, Beyond The Sublime Port The Grand Seraglio of Stambul, New Haven 1931, p. 189; İ. Hakki Uzunçarşili, Osmanli Devleti'nin Saray Teşkilati, Ankara 1984, p. 379; Halil İnalcik, "Matbakh", Encyclopaedia of Islam, IV, Leiden 1991, p. 810).
 Arif Bilgin, "Bolulu Aşçilarin Osmanli Saray Mutfaǧina Girişleri", Bolu'da Halk Kültürü ve Köroǧlu Uluslararasi Sempozyumu, Bolu 1998, pp. 43-55.
 Lutfi Paşa, Âsafnâme, published by Mübahat Kütükoǧlu, in Bekir Kütükoǧlu'na Armaǧan (Istanbul 1991), pp. 92-93; Kitâb-i Müstetâb, published by Yaşar Yücel, in Osmanli Devlet Teşkilatina Dair Kaynaklar, Ankara 1998, p. 14.
 Selânikî Mustafa Efendi, Târih, published by Mehmet İpşirli, Istanbul 1989, p. 387.
 Forty days of midwinter (Dec. 22nd-Jan. 30th).
 See for Paris and Istanbul examples; Steven Laurence Kaplan, Provisioning Paris: Merchants and Millers in the Grain and Flour Trade during the Eighteenth Century, New York 1984; Rhoads Murphey, "Provisioning Istanbul: The State and Subsistence in the Early Modern Middle East", Food and Foodways, vol. 2 (1988), pp. 217-264.
*Assoc. Prof., Sakarya University, Faculty of Art and Science, Department of History.
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by: FSTC Limited, Thu 09 April, 2009