Cookies | Kurabiye
Cookies are called kurabiye in Turkey. There are countless varieties of kurabiye available including sweet and savory options. Kurabiye are commonly served to afternoon guests with tea. The cookie as we know it today would not exist without sugar and flour. To understand the origins of the cookie, it is important to understand the origins of these two key ingredients.
Archeological evidence indicates sugarcane was first domesticated in New Guinea 10,000 years ago. From New Guinea, sugar spread across Southeast Asia and Southern China before reaching India. India is the home to the first organized production of sugar. In 510 BC, Emperor Darius of Persia (modern Iran) invaded India where he found “the reed which gives honey without bees.”
Likewise, archeological and genetic research indicates that all modern wheat originated from the area surrounding Mount Karadağ (located in Turkey’s Southern Anatolia Region) where emmer wheat was domesticated around 12,000 years ago. Wheat was eventually cultivated throughout the Zagros Mountain range which extends 1,500 kilometers from Southern Anatolia to Iran and Iraq.
With an availability of both flour and sugar, Persian bakers were creating sweetened breads by the 7th century AD. To determine the baking temperature for the bread, a small amount of batter was dropped into the oven. From these test cakes, the modern cookie was born.
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