The Bountiful Empire: a London talk by Priscilla Mary Işın on the culinary traditions of the Ottoman Empire

On Friday evening, food historian Priscilla Mary Işın will give a talk at the Yunus Emre Institute based on her book, Bountiful Empire: A History of Ottoman Cuisine, in which she explores the rich culinary traditions of the Ottoman Empire.

Published last year, the book examines in detail the production and consumption of food by the empire’s diverse people, from its sultans to its soldiers. Ms Işın charts how Ottoman food culture evolved from its early Central Asian Turkish roots, encompassing the traditions of the Abbasids, Seljuks, Byzantines and others, to become one of the world’s richest cuisines by the collapse of the Ottoman Empire more than five centuries later.

Priscilla Mary Işın’s Central London talk on Friday evening will give essential insights into the Ottomans’ love of food and what their production and consumption choices said about their lives. The event is free and open to the public.

The talk coincides with a special photography exhibition, The Magnificent Spice Bazaar, which also opens at the Yunus Emre Institute on Friday and runs for a fortnight. Read more here.

About author Priscilla Mary Işın

Born in Nottingham, England, Priscilla Mary Işın is one of the world’s leading authorities on Ottoman gastronomy. She read philosophy at York University and settled in Turkey in 1973, where she has since translated over 150 books, mostly on art, architecture and history. She published her first book, Friedrich Unger, A King’s Confectioner in the Orient, London: Kegan Paul, in 2003 and has gone on to publish ten others, as well as numerous academic papers on a variety of topics from aubergines to fruit consumption under the Ottomans.

Exhibition Details

Title:  The Bountiful Empire – talk

Dates: Friday 08 March 2019

Start Time: 6pm

Venue: Yunus Emre Turkish Cultural Centre, 10 Maple Street, Bloomsbury, London, W1T 5HA

Admission: free, but prior registration is required. Register online for your ticket via Eventbrite.