Newcomer Tuncay Alkan exemplifies Turkish hospitality by sharing his hummus recipe

Merna Delaurentis

In 2019, Tuncay Alkan (suitable) and his household moved from Turkey to Peterborough, his spouse Laura’s residence city. Tuncay enjoys to prepare dinner and designs to open up his have café in Peterborough just one day. He and his spouse and children also love exploring trails and nature and have […]

In 2019, Tuncay Alkan (suitable) and his household moved from Turkey to Peterborough, his spouse Laura’s residence city. Tuncay enjoys to prepare dinner and designs to open up his have café in Peterborough just one day. He and his spouse and children also love exploring trails and nature and have a intention to examine one new site each individual week. (Photo courtesy of the Alkan family)

It is not hard to find a row of packaged hummus stocked on most Canadian grocery stores’ cabinets. Even so, according to Turkey indigenous Tuncay Alkan, the edition of this Middle Eastern dip and distribute discovered in grocery merchants does not review to the edition made and sold in the Center East itself.

Tuncay (pronounced Toon-Jai) and his partner Laura moved to Canada from Turkey in 2019 soon after getting their initial baby. The few to start with achieved in Istanbul whilst Tuncay was completing his master’s degree in welding engineering. Right after operating in areas these kinds of as Saudi Arabia and Germany as well as various metropolitan areas in Turkey for a couple of a long time, Tuncay and Laura settled in Peterborough — Laura’s property city.

While changing to his new state, Tuncay found himself craving a flavor of home. Hummus is the food items that claims dwelling the most for Tuncay, since it is a well-known and signature food items in Turkey. Chickpeas, the vital component in hummus, date again far more than 10,000 yrs in Turkey — they ended up initially domesticated from a wild plant that nowadays only grows in southeast Turkey.

“Hummus is classical in my geography,” Tuncay describes. “There are sites that only make hummus — nothing at all else. I hadn’t experimented with making it due to the fact I was often getting it from the most effective destinations in Turkey.”

He ventured into a Canadian grocery retail outlet, only to obtain the hummus offered there was not as great as what he ate in Turkey.

“I want to make my very own hummus to truly feel like I’m residence all over again,” Tuncay recalls considering.

Tuncay Alkan's butter pine nut hummus. While living in Turkey, Tuncay would buy hummus from one of the many places that offered the traditional dish. When he moved to Canada, he wasn't fond of the prepared hummus offered in grocery stores and decided to make his own.  (Photo courtesy of Tuncay Alkan)
Tuncay Alkan’s butter pine nut hummus. When residing in Turkey, Tuncay would buy hummus from just one of the lots of places that available the regular dish. When he moved to Canada, he wasn’t fond of the geared up hummus presented in grocery retailers and determined to make his individual. (Photograph courtesy of Tuncay Alkan)

Recreating a native dish has served Tuncay modify to his new property in Canada in excess of the past two years. Making and sharing food stuff — particularly when it holds particular indicating — is a fantastic way to cultivate social interactions. Primarily in Turkey, where hospitality is a cornerstone of the country’s culture.

“Whenever I share and prepare dinner Turkish foodstuff for someone below, I experience like I’m internet hosting them in my household state,” Tuncay suggests.

While volunteer cooking for Foodstuff Not Bombs Peterborough, Tuncay felt like he was hosting hundreds of Canadians in his indigenous land. He created and shared his hummus and other Turkish recipes quite a few situations for the firm, which serves food to all-around 150 to 200 folks a week.

Tuncay Alkan’s Turkish Hummus Recipe (Two Methods)

Tuncay Alkan’s Turkish Hummus Recipe (Two Approaches)

Tuncay is happy to share his hummus recipe with kawarthaNOW viewers. Tuncay’s recipe characteristics the two most well-liked ways of building and serving hummus in Turkey: with butter as a abundant dish to be eaten before long after it is made (this kind of as for an appetizer on toasted bread or pita before dinner), and with olive oil for a lighter-tasting version that lasts longer and can be liked as a unfold or a dip.

Creating and sharing foods from your personal culture is also a effective way to encourage feelings of belonging when in a new country, anything Tuncay himself found even though operating for a non-government business in Turkey that assists refugees.

“I observed the very best and most connecting activity was associated with meals,” Tuncay describes. “Whenever we built food with refugees, men and women utilised to sense like property.”

For Tuncay, the observe of cooking property food items holds as considerably nostalgic meaning as it does flavor.

“I make a very little Turkey in my kitchen area,” he claims. “Whenever I want to go to Turkey, I go to the kitchen.”

His passion for cooking dates again to his childhood and spending time in the kitchen area with his mom and grandmother, who handed on their appreciate for cooking.

“It was a household thing for me,” Tuncay states.

Tuncay Alkan first met Peterborough native Laura in Istanbul while he completing his master's degree in welding engineering. After working in places such as Saudi Arabia and Germany as well as various cities in Turkey for a few years, the couple decided to move to Peterborough in 2019 to raise their family. (Photo courtesy of the Alkan family)
Tuncay Alkan 1st satisfied Peterborough indigenous Laura in Istanbul whilst he completing his master’s diploma in welding engineering. Soon after operating in areas these as Saudi Arabia and Germany as nicely as several towns in Turkey for a handful of decades, the few made the decision to go to Peterborough in 2019 to elevate their family. (Photograph courtesy of the Alkan spouse and children)

But it wasn’t right until he was living by itself whilst attending college in Turkey that he observed himself cooking by yourself for the initial time out of requirement. As a vegan, he clarifies that it was not simple to buy food that met his nutritional limitations.

“Being vegan is not straightforward in Turkey,” says Tuncay. “You want to prepare dinner just about every day — you will not discover (vegan) food stuff outside. I desired to discover new recipes so it would not be unexciting for me. I like making an attempt new factors, so I held cooking right after that.”

In describing Turkish delicacies, Tuncay cites the wealthy spice lifestyle and dense forests in the place — facets of Turkish tradition mirrored in his recipes. It is obvious from his description that cooking Middle Japanese food items listed here in Canada connects him back again to the land, society, and family members he still left at the rear of in Turkey.

Tuncay Alkan enjoying a meal with his family. Cooking Middle Eastern food here in Canada helped him to adjusted to his new country by connecting him back to the land, culture, and family he left behind in Turkey. He also speaks with his family in Turkey on the phone almost every day.  (Photo courtesy of the Alkan family)
Tuncay Alkan taking pleasure in a meal with his family. Cooking Middle Jap meals listed here in Canada assisted him to adjusted to his new place by connecting him back to the land, tradition, and household he left behind in Turkey. He also speaks with his family in Turkey on the cellular phone just about just about every day. (Picture courtesy of the Alkan loved ones)

In accordance to Tuncay, going through that connection to Turkey by cooking has helped him get through a person of the largest challenges although adjusting to a new state: lacking his spouse and children and good friends.

“We skip them a good deal,” Tuncay states. “We speak each day, owning movie talks and demonstrating them around. We discuss about what’s happening in this article and there.”

A different major challenge for Tuncay has been adjusting to the Canadian winter season, particularly all through the pandemic, when social gatherings and winter activities have been minimal.

“Winter is not my favorite local weather,” he laughs. “I was energized to locate some wintertime actions finally.”

In spite of these difficulties, Tuncay does truly feel a sense of dwelling and belonging in Peterborough. He and his household delight in checking out trails and mother nature and have a intention to take a look at a person new spot each week.

“I appreciate living in Peterborough,” he says. “It’s a really relatives-welcoming town with lovely trails and nature. There are so many lovely spots to learn.”

In addition to practising cooking and discovering nature, Tuncay credits the New Canadians Centre (NCC) in Peterborough for helping him settle in his new region, these types of as by supplying aid to support him get a operate allow and his long-lasting residency.

Tuncay Alkan credits the New Canadians Centre in Peterborough for helping him settle in his new country, such as by providing assistance to help him obtain a work permit and his permanent residency.  (Photo courtesy of the Alkan family)
Tuncay Alkan credits the New Canadians Centre in Peterborough for supporting him settle in his new region, this kind of as by offering guidance to assist him acquire a function allow and his long term residency. (Photograph courtesy of the Alkan family members)

Prior to the pandemic, NCC was also aiding Tuncay go after his concept of opening a café in Peterborough. Unfortunately, the undertaking is on hold owing to the pandemic, but Tuncay hopes to make it materialize in the foreseeable future.

“I could just live in the kitchen area for the rest of my existence, so I made the decision to a little something that I really like and prepared to open a small café,” he points out. “I’m now performing, so I’m not in a rush, but it’s even now on my mind. I probably will do it after COVID.”

So even if you do not examination out Tuncay’s hummus recipe, you may possibly still have a possibility to try it sometime.

 

The #CookWithNCC series was produced in partnership with the New Canadians Centre (NCC) in Peterborough to share tales of immigration and integration. Other tales in the series involve Jessie Iriwanto and her beef rendang recipe.

Aromas, flavours, ingredients, who we cook dinner for and how we share our recipes — they all inform tales that shape us as a neighborhood. On this journey through pantries and kitchens, we hope that you will fill both equally your plate and your heart.

Share your encounter making an attempt out these recipes, or your individual tale and recipe, on social media applying the hashtag #CookWithNCC.

To be part of the New Canadians Centre on their 40-12 months journey of welcoming immigrants and refugees, visit nccpeterborough.ca.

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