Thursday, February 15, 2007


It's that time again. You know the time when the Turks mix up a big ol' batch of asure and then pass it out to their neighbors. What? You say you've never heard of it? Okay then, let me fill you in.

The legend regarding the origins of asure goes as follows: "When the Flood finally subsided and Noah's Ark settled on Mount Ararat in Agri, those on the vessel wanted to hold a celebration as an expression of the gratitute they felt towards God. But alas, the food storages of the ship were practically empty and so they made a soup with all the remaining ingredients they could find and thus ended up with asure".

I must admit...I copied and pasted that last paragraph from a website on Turkish desserts. Okay...now that I have confessed let me give you my version of the holiday.

Asure is pronounced Ah-shur-ay....making sure to roll the 'r' in the word. One month ago we had a holiday called Kurban Bayram. This is the sacrificing holiday. Muslims believe that Abraham was going to sacrifice Ishmael and God stepped up and provided a ram in the thicket. Basically, our Abraham and Isaac story. Anyway, the month afterwards is asure month. I'm not sure how many of our neighbors make asure, but only one gives it to us...thankfully. What is in asure you ask? Good question. Brian says that Noah swept out the ark and made asure with what was in the dust pan. I picture every kind of animal poop imaginable when he describes it this way! Actually the ingredients are as follows....copying from website again...
Dövme (dehusked wheat for asure), Chickpeas, Dry white beans, Rice, Water, Dried apricots, Dried figs, Raisins, Orange, Sugar, Rose water, Walnuts (not crushed), Pomegranate, and the possiblities are endless. Our latest batch had hazelnuts, dried currants, and cinnamon on top. I would say that it is a lot like glorified oatmeal. That is what it tastes like to me. And I don't like oatmeal so I am not crazy about this "dessert" either.

On Sunday night we were having house church at our house. We had just finished dinner and were all sitting around the table when the doorbell rang. When I say all I mean 5 adults. There were also 6 kids running around so I'm sure it seemed really crowded to the nice little man from downstairs who was delivering his wife's homemade asure. He brought one bowl, but quickly ran back downstairs to get more since we had company. We ended up with the three bowls you see pictured above. One bowl was given to the single guy on our team. I'm not sure how well he eats being a single guy and all, and he said he loved desserts so he got to take home a hearty bowl of goodness to help him get by for a couple of days. Another bowl was given to friend who claims to love asure. Brian ate a little out of the last of the bowls and what is left is still in my refrigerator. Oh, Anna Grace also claimed to love it and asked for a bowl. Anna Grace doesn't love anything so I gave her a small amount to taste and I was right. She didn't like it.

I am thankful that God took care of Noah and his family on the ark. I am also thankful that only one of my neighbors shares asure with us. As they say in Turkey...afiyet olsun...or bon appetit!


Gina said...

I actually like oatmeal, but would end up picking out anything that resembled a raisin.

Anonymous said...

It looks a fancy rice pudding - I like rice pudding but I don't know about the fancy part - and now I would have a hard time getting over Brian's commentary on it!

Anonymous said...

You are making me hungry and Gina would just have to eat the raisins. I do thank you for the update reminders.

Amy said...


Gina said...

No, I would give the raisins to Billy and make HIM eat them...HA!!

aylin said...

Merhaba Natalie, ben Aylin,aşure tarifi ararken senin bloğunu gördüm. Türkiye de bulunduğun ve Türkiye ile ilgili yazıların ilgimi çekti. İngilizcem pek iyi sayılmaz bu yüzden Türkçe yazdım. Umarım anlarsın. Bloğunu çok beğendim.Türkiye'den bir arkadaş istersen bana mail atabilirsin. Adresim:
sienna-crystal @hotmail.com
görüşmek üzere .Hoşçakal.

Anonymous said...

I would appreciate more visual materials, to make your blog more attractive, but your writing style really compensates it. But there is always place for improvement

Anonymous said...

Hi.. i've just had a bowl of aşure from my neighbour and gobbled it down :) then i wondered if other people knew about aşure.. eventually i found this blog :) well i was shocked to be honest :) its nothing like an oatmeal.. aşure should be watery (i dont know if i described it correctly).Not like jelly or pudding.. Oh and add a fair amount of orange peels (i dont know if peels is the correct word either:) dont add too much raisin. You shouldnt add too much rose water either.. A little carnation gives a good taste. You have to add at least 12 different kind of ingredients to aşure, its a tradition :) My mom makes really good aşure, wish you could try it.. Every person should try aşure someday, its a different dessert really. I apologize for my bad English.. From Turkey, my best regards to everyone :)