Thursday, May 28, 2015

Which came first? The food or the tribe? Ghuzu ichi (or Kuzu ucu)

MARASH GIRL recently received an email with the following question -- 

Since your ancestors are from Marash, and you know a lot about food, you may know the answer to a question thrown up by my nearly completed translation, for   AIWA, of Yessayan's Աւերակներուն մէջ. Here it is. 
Were the Cretan Muslims/Turks who settled in Cilicia some time before 1909 (who seem to have played a particularly gruesome role in the massacres) known as Ghuzu ichi (or Kuzu ucu or some other variant of the name) -- was this tribe named after the name of their favorite lamb-and-rice dish?  Or was the lamb and rice dish named after the tribe?

Just to make sure, I'll ask my very old mother whether she knows the dish, although I'm quite sure she and my grandparents before her never made it.

It was my old mother, not my acquaintances's middle-aged mother, who confirmed that people from Kharpert don't eat ghuzu ici, as a rule.

[From an Assyrian acquaintance originally from Adana comes the following:
"In Turkish "kuzu" means lamb (or young sheep); "içi" would be translated as "interior of ..." As a result, the complete translation would be "the interior of the lamb".»]

Below are extracts from the email in which the writer's Assyrian acquaintance from Adana vaguely describes Kuzu ici.

"So in the region, which encompasses south-south east Turkey (from Tarsus in the west to Urfa in the east) there is a dish called "kuzu içi". It is a type of rice meal combined with lamb meat and/or lamb meat filled with rice. 

In conjunction with that, when I read about Cretan Turks/Muslims, I discovered that the only type of meat they accept eating is lamb meat. It is one of the integral parts of their cuisine. They do not like to eat any other type of meat."
(signed) gmg

Houshamadyan printed the following: Marash pilav with lung (kuzu içi pilavı).

Abbasiye Sisman (Shishman) writes from Turkey, "I know that kuzu içi  is Marash's favorite meal . . . an onion an amount of oil with roasted tomato and pepper sauce mixture is added to stirred, water is added by the amount of rice, rice is soaked in boiling water, spices  added and cooked, some butter on rice cooked if desired, be added 
this pillar is eaten with cacık (juju) beside it.
Anyone out there know the answer?  Marash Girl is guessing that the lamb and rice dish was named after the tribe.  Is she correct?

And on Bir Zamanlar Marash (Facebook Page), the following:  

"Zülgani Kazanıcı Abbasiye  size "Kuzuiçi " nin görüntüsünü yüklemek düşer.. Tabiki yanında "Cacık" olmadan olmaz.. (Zannedersem)"

Yildirim Atli writes, "galiba kaburga dolmasını soruyor, yada gerdan dolması. et ile kemik arasına iç pilav."

1 comment:

  1. G. M. GoshgarianJuly 7, 2015 at 4:38 PM

    A historian friend has cracked the Kuzu Ucu case. He happened to be reading a book on Dört Yol in which he learned that Kuzulucu was the name of a village ın Cilicia inhabited, in 1909, by Greek-speaking Muslims from Crete. Yessayan presumably didn't hear the l in Kuzulucu, or it was perhaps not pronounced with the l by locals, so that, in In the Ruins, she wrote Քուզու Ուճու / Kuzu Ucu instead.

    My translation of In the Ruins will be published by AIWA in the fall.

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