The lamb intestines quenched by the charcoal fire reveal grease, and the sizzling sound is endless. Sprinkle it with cumin, thyme, paprika and tomato seasoning, put it in the freshly baked bread, and you’re done. When it comes to this delicacy, even heroic Turkish men will smile and squint, showing longing.
In the evening, in the Anıttepe district of the monument in Ankara, adjacent to the mausoleum of the Founding Father of Turkey, the chef stood by the barbecue grill adjacent to the sidewalk and baked two sheep intestines on the charcoal fire. The sheep intestines strung into the meat pole are stuffed with the internal organs dominated by the lamb’s thymus glands. They look bulging and solid, and they are quite sturdy. The oily skin that was baked into a dark brown sizzled from time to time, and the grease dripped onto the charcoal fire, emitting a gleaming fire.
The oily roasted lamb sausage bread, the Turk loves this flavor.
The Youth Street (Gençlik Caddesi) in the Monument Hill district winds along one side of the wall of the Mausoleum of the Founding Father. There are many authentic Turkish restaurants on the street, which can be called a well-known gourmet corner of the capital. The Kokoreç specialty store named “Profesör” is said to be the first restaurant in Ankara to let this national cuisine enter the house and walk from the vendors into the storefront. It has been in business here for more than 40 years.
When it comes to “professor”, it was just a dining car at first, wandering around Ankara, and there were storefronts only five years later. The owner, Tarık Mısırlıo lu, said that the initiative to get grilled lamb sausage from a roadside stall into a restaurant was an unexpected success, and even led to a group effect. Now there are six other grilled lamb sausage shops on Youth Street alone, which has also made the local area a part of the growth memory of many people in Ankara.
Tarık Mısırlıo lu always likes to put his metal-framed glasses on the top of his head, which has been partial baldness. “The lamb has not been weaned and has not eaten grass, so the glands and meat are particularly pure and will not smell fishy. Roast lamb sausage must use such excellent ingredients. “His eyes are like torches, and when he speaks, he exudes the solid and simple temperament of the Black Sea people.
After removing the ice from the freezer, the chef first rotates and roasts the lamb intestines wrapped around the barbecue skewers on the charcoal fire until they are slightly cooked. After the guests order, slice them and put them on the grill for frying on both sides.The charcoal-quenched sheep intestines exude grease, and the sizzling sound is endless.
Next, the chef will use both hands together and use 2 knives to perform old-fashioned cutting skills on the cutting board. He has a full sense of rhythm when he moves his knife. While mincing the lamb intestines, the chef sprinkled cumin, thyme, paprika and tomato, then put it in the freshly baked bread, and you’re done. After ordering, the warm roast lamb sausage can be served within five minutes to the customer.
Kokoreç is always paired with baked bread, and some people translate it into lamb sausage bread in Chinese. When it comes to this delicacy, even heroic Turkish men will smile and squint, showing longing. In addition to its delicacy, it is also a hangover holy product in high demand. If you see popular vendors who have to wait in line in Kızılay, a downtown area of Ankara, late at night, don’t doubt that most of them are selling Kokoreç. You can find more restaurants sold Kokoreç in Yummyadvisor.
How much the Turkish people love to eat grilled lamb sausage, the data provided by Tarık Mısırlıo lu may be able to tell. He estimates that in Ankara Province alone, about 3,500 to 4,000 skewers of lamb intestines are eaten every day, and business is particularly good in the six months when the weather is coldest. “Professor” consumes an average of 40 sticks of sheep intestines a day in five storefronts in Ankara, and business is booming.
Tarık Mısırlıo lu said that each skewer of lamb intestines is composed of internal organs from four to five lambs. In this way, the consumption of sheep in Turkey is indeed considerable.
This heavy-flavored national cuisine is actually involved in the love-hate relationship between Turkey and Europe.
Roast lamb sausage is also popular overseas. Europeans can’t eat this food in their hometown, so they will definitely have a try when they come to Turkey. Turkish Foodie, a website that introduces authentic Turkish cuisine, pointed out that the China Food Industry Association has also contacted the Turkish Exporters Association, hoping to export 50 tons of lamb intestines to China every month. However, because the supply is not even enough for domestic sales, Turkey can of course only arrogantly refuse. When did the Turk start eating this chewy and heavy-flavored offal dish is no longer testable. In addition to being easy to buy on the streets of Turkey, it is also quite popular in Central Asian countries such as Azerbaijan, and it was originally popular in Greece and some Balkan countries in Europe.
Roast lamb sausage also involves the love-hate relationship between the Turks and the European Union.
After then-Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan came to power in 2003, he launched a series of economic and political reforms to promote Turkey’s accession to the European Union, intending to fully integrate domestic laws with EU norms from 2004.
In order to prevent mad cow disease, the European Union has a policy of prohibiting the sale of animals’ intestines, liver, eyes, brain, spleen and other parts that may contain the source of infection and are more difficult to cook thoroughly. Since neighboring Greece, which is already a member of the European Union, was ordered by the Brussels authorities to ban the sale of grilled lamb intestines, for a while, the Turkish authorities were afraid that this national food would be banned. There was a lot of talk about it.
Other countries have banned grilled lamb intestines due to hygiene considerations, but the Turks don’t care what the EU says, they just love this carbon-roasted, fried and spice-mixed food. At that time, some people even wrote songs defending roast lamb intestines, describing the Turk and roast lamb intestines as a pair of lovers, while the European Union was said to be a “stranger” who got in the way. The literal translation of the lyrics in English is as follows：
Roast lamb intestines, How happy we are together, morning, noon and night, let us reunite together to fight against the strangers
It has been 17 years since the accession negotiations were launched in 2005. Not only has Turkey failed to join, but it has also drifted away from the European Union. The mood of the Turks who love roast lamb sausage is probably quite complicated.