Pots Really Do Grow on Trees
A ceramiics shop decorated this tree to catch the eyes of passing trade. It worked for me! But, the amazing thing is how these pots relate to an ancient dish dating back a thousand years. Read on....
When I arrived in Cappadocia, I wondered at why there were so many local potters dishing out such poor quality pots. It turned out that the local delicacy, called 'testi kebap', is an oven baked kebab dish that is cooked inside its own clay pot, and the pot must be smashed to get at its contents. Thus, a new pot for every customer means a lot of pots, which is great for the local economy as someone has to source the clay as well.
The Cappadocian town of Avanos has been known for making these pots since the time of the Hittites (1600-1178 BCE). The town's name betrays its Greek origins, which explains why you may sometimes see the area referred to Kappadocia, from the Greek. The mix of cultures also created a hybrid language called Cappadocian Greek. The Turkish emigration policy of the 1920s saw the forced relocation of Cappadocian Greeks to northern Greece, and by the 1960s it was thought the language was extinct. However, in 2005, university researchers discovered third-generation fluent speakers of the language, who were positive to their cultural heritage, contrary to their parents and grandparents who switched to Standard Modern Greek and were reluctant to speak their mother tongue.
I bet you had no idea that the story of an entire people could be gleaned from a humble clay pot.