If you’ve ever been to Turkey during Christmas season, it’s more than likely that you’ve enjoyed the very same libations that were enjoyed on Noah’s Ark. A symbol of peace and love, served by families to friends and loved ones during the holidays, aşure is a pudding containing multiple and varying ingredients. Known as Noah’s Pudding, it is believed to have been the last meal served on Noah’s Ark, in celebration as the great flood subsided.
You probably haven’t seen or tasted anything like this before, but don’t worry too much about what’s inside—it’s tradition! In case you’re curious, you’re likely to find a mix of rice, rosewater, walnuts, white beans, barley, chickpeas, pomegranate seeds, and other creative ingredients mixed together with lots of cinnamon. Because food was scarce on Noah’s Ark, the dish originated when Noah used the various ingredients that had been left over from previous meals to make his version of aşure.
Now it is a Christmastime staple in Turkey, and best enjoyed slowly, in the presence of great company. So as you make your rounds this Christmas, don’t expect to get in and get out quickly—allow time and take yourself back to the days of Noah!