Monday, May 13, 2013

Dr. Oz, "Greek coffee," Turkish coffee, facts and a petition.

A few weeks ago, Dr. Oz (In Turkish it's actually Öz, which is pronounced differently than "Oz" but whatever) did a show trumpeting the benefits of "Greek coffee" on his show. The only problem is that most of the world calls the product "Turkish coffee," and Turks are quite proud of it; bizarre that an ethnic Turk like Oz would claim it for the Greeks.

This stirred up a furor in the Turkish news media and launched a petition from a Turkish-American woman calling on Dr. Öz to set the record straight. I'm a fan of Turkish coffee, cook it myself, and miss being able to order it after a meal here in the U.S. like I could in Ankara. Thus I have signed the petition and want to offer some other support. There are plenty of basic tales of Turkish coffee, and coffee in general, being introduced to Europe from Ottoman travelers (see France in 1669). 

But in John Lloyd Stephens' Incidents of Travel in Greece, Turkey, Russia, and Poland (my review) published in 1838 there are several references to Turkish coffee and Stephens enjoys it both in Greece and in Turkey. He has this quote: 
"Fortunately, the Greeks have learned from their quondam Turkish masters the art of making coffee" (P. 18).

Greeks and Turks alike call it "Turkish coffee." Everyone considers the origins to be Turkish from the Ottoman conquests of North Africa or some other part where the drink was discovered. 

So, sign the petition! It needs only about 400 more signatures by Change.org to become active.

By the way, here's the best brand of Turkish coffee you can buy:

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