Brits are more likely refer to the warm weather most parts of Turkey are enjoying at the moment as an ‘Indian Summer’ but in Turkey it is more often than not called ‘Pastırma Yazı’.
Why? Because it’s the perfect time for making pastırma; or pastrami, as it is also known.
Hazy, warm days
The air is dry and hazy, the days are warm and clear but not hot and the evenings are cold but not icy.
Not every autumn is like this in Turkey and when it is, it’s usually only for a week or so, so make the most of it.
It is certainly a perfect time for being outside, walking, or sitting on the beach, if you don’t happen to be making pastırma that is.
What the weather experts say
Here is the meteorological explanation for anyone who’s interested!
The UK Meteorological Office describe it as,
A warm, calm spell of weather occurring in autumn, especially in October and November.”
We assume they mean something like this…
The scientific reasons are:
A moving, cool, shallow polar air mass is converting into a deep, warm, stagnant anticyclone (high pressure) system, which has the effect of causing the haze and large swing in temperature between day and night.
The time of occurrence is important: The warm days must follow a spell of cold weather or a good hard frost.”
Well, it did rain last week and then it was chilly for a few days. Does that count?
So, what is pastırma?
Pastırma is a cured and wind-dried beef that has been made in Anatolia and other countries in the region for millennia, many say since Byzantine times.
It is prepared by salting large joints of beef, then rinsing it with water and letting it dry for around a fortnight.
After this, the meat is pressed, causing the blood and salt to come out of the meat.
The meat is then smothered with çemen, a paste prepared with crushed cumin, fenugreek, garlic, and hot paprika.
The beef is then air-dried.
The most famous Turkish pastırma comes from Kayseri.
And finally, how, when and where to eat pastırma…
Find a lovely sunny place with a great view and settle down for breakfast, lunch or dinner… or at any time really…just because you can…
There are many ways to enjoy pastırma and here are just a few of them: in paper thin slices with eggs, in a delicious stew with Turkish beans (kuru fusulye) or crispy, as a meze, with hummus.
Afiyet olsun and enjoy the weather!
For more about Turkish weather reports like the one we used, click here.