It was one the times that I felt like my whole life has been a lie. When my mother started to attend Ottoman Cuisine courses and she said Ottoman kitchen is quite different what we eat today because they did not have potato and tomato sauce. What? All these years, while I was eating and feeling like a Sultan, it was actually modernized Turkish food without any roots of Ottomans?
Tomatoes came to Ottoman Empire after 18th century as the love fruit. So they did not have the habit of cooking it or using it as tomato sauce like we do today in almost every Turkish dish. They used to use different types of nuts and spices (especially cinnamon) together while cooking meat. Non-salted butter was the oil for food and for Shish kebabs the shish was not a metal stick, they used to use thin branches of bay laurel and while cooking the aroma of the wood would stick into the kebab. Sounds yummy? Today in Istanbul, there are few restaurants with real Ottoman food. If you want to taste this specialty you may go to them. Or if you are like Sultan II Abdulhamit, then do not bother. Because his favourite food was eggs with onions. Quite humble for a Sultan, huh?