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Turkish Food and Music Festival in Orange County, CA

  • Published by Vedat
All food and music lovers gathered this weekend at the OC Fair and Event Center in Costa Mesa, California for the Anatolian Cultures and Food Festival 2013. The festival took place from May 16 to May 19, 2013.
anatolian-fest-caThe festival featured realistic exhibits, more than 100 food and craft stands and dozens of live performances by world-class musicians and dancers.

The festival offered a massive variety of the best food of the region prepared fresh each day by skilled Turkish cooks, chefs and caterers. The foods ranged from tasty kebabs, freshly-made baklavas and flat breads (gozlemes), to home-made dumplings (manti) and vegetables cooked in olive oil and much more.

The popular sticky ice-cream and kunefe (a made-to-order shredded pastry dessert) also made a return, as well as many flavorful examples of Ottoman cuisine including milk puddings, Turkish delight and a variety of stuffed vegetables.

New this year was the city of Antep, best known as home of the pistachio, baklava and layered kebabs. A group of local chefs were on hand preparing some of the best examples of the local cuisine.

These foods and much more were prepared and sold at the festival's Grand Bazaar area made up of more than a hundred stalls. Festivalgoers also enjoyed many local refreshments, including the fresh yoghurt drink called ayran, as well as Turkish coffee and traditionally brewed teas and fresh juices.

At two stages a line-up of Turkish chefs gave food demos throughout the four days, while best-selling authors and culinary experts Faye Levy and Clifford A. Wright talked about the regional cuisine.

This year the festival put on an even greater display of Anatolian music, with a mix of folk, pop, traditional and religious music performed live by dozens of musicians traveling from Turkey.

The line-up of performances included:

Serkan Cagri, Turkish clarinet master and his ensemble
The Whirling Dervishes, the Sufi performers from the City of Konya
Omer Faruk Tekbilek, Turkish virtuoso and his ensemble
Yasar, a popular Turkish pop singer
The award-winning Yenimahalle TUBIL Folk Dance Group
The Van Folk Dance Group from Eastern Turkey
Udi Yervant, an Armenian singer and musician
Ferhat, a Turkish pop singer
The Ottoman Marching Band, one of the world's oldest military bands
The Reyhani Folk Music and Dance Group from the city of Mardin
The Keravnos and Kymata St Sophia Church Greek Dance Group
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