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Sofia Coca

The most easterly Europe.


THE INGREDIENTS

  • Homemade roast pork
  • Yoghurt and cumin sauce
  • Zucchini
  • Emmental cheese
  • Cooked onion
  • Homemade coca flatbread

Origin of the recipe

We took our inspiration from the gastronomy of Istanbul to create a coca that combines homemade roast pork and vegetables. An ideal dish for those who wish to flee from large, more copious meals.

This spring, we travel to Turkey and specifically to Istanbul to offer you the Sofia Coca: homemade roast pork, yoghurt and cumin sauce, zucchini, Emmental cheese, cooked onion and homemade coca flatbread.

Inspired in the crossroads of Europe and Asia.

This recipe combines the most popular ingredients of Turkish gastronomy, principally characterised by the use of spices, vegetable ingredients, roast meat and yoghurt sauce. It’s a rich cuisine, known the world over for combining culinary attributes of the Balkan Peninsula with those of the Middle East.

y'amal on VisualHunt.com / CC BYC

Viena’s reinterpretation

We prepare our own roast pork, and this gives the dish body and texture. The other ingredients are: cooked zucchini, which offers a slightly sweet taste with a touch of bitterness; Emmental cheese, which brings a smooth consistency to the recipe; and cooked onion, providing a hint of mellowed honey. All of these are combined with the yoghurt and cumin sauce, giving the recipe its distinctive feature: that spicy flavour.

The yoghurt and cumin sauce lends a spicy touch.

The blend of roast pork and vegetables transforms this coca into a dish which is perfect to savour as a main course when you’re not in the mood for a more substantial meal.

Istanbul and its gastronomy

Istanbul, historically known as Constantinople, is a transcontinental city situated between Europe and Asia. Its gastronomy is consequently extremely rich and varied because it combines elements of two cuisines: Mediterranean and Middle Eastern.

Due to its strategic location, control of the city has always been heavily disputed, and this has resulted in its being the capital of several empires: Roman, Byzantine, Latin and Ottoman.

The cuisine of Istanbul represents the intersection of routes that converge at the city.

szeke on visualhunt / CC BY-ND

The cuisine of Istanbul is a reflection of the intersection of routes that converge at the city and, specifically, of the Bosporus Straits that link the Sea of Marmara and the Black Sea, physically separating Europe and Asia. Istanbul is the meeting point of various cultures which have impacted on the region’s culinary traditions. That said, Turkish cuisine has not only been subject to influences, it has also been the inspiration for and left its mark on other gastronomies, including those of Bulgaria and Greece, where we can find such shared ingredients as yoghurt, fresh cheese and the use of spices, among other common elements.

Zucchini

The zucchini is one of the most popular vegetables of the Mediterranean diet. It can be eaten either raw or cooked and is served grilled, fresh in salads, as the main ingredient of cream soups and omelettes or simply as an accompaniment to meat or fish. For the Coca Sofia we feel grilled zucchini goes best.

Like the water melon, melon and pumpkin, this vegetable is a member of the family Cucurbitaceae. All are flowering plants whose fruit can grow to considerable size with a thick skin and intense flavour. The zucchini was introduced to the more western shores of the Mediterranean Sea by the Arabs, who were pioneers in its cultivation and production in those regions. It was widely consumed by the lower and middle classes during the Middle Ages and is today one of the most popular ingredients in Mediterranean cuisine.

Homemade roast pork

At the Viena we produce our roast pork with a great deal of care and dedication. The process begins by opening the pork belly and stuffing it with lean pork meat and pork top sirloin. It’s then seasoned with spices, tied and placed in the oven.

pedro Angelini on Visualhunt.com / CC BY
stijn on Visualhunt.com / CC BY-NC-ND

This is a procedure we carry out following traditional techniques and leaving the meat to roast slowly for four hours. During this time it’s basted with rum, which little by little is absorbed until it creates a caramelised, crunchy coating, contrasting with the more juicy, spongy interior of the piece.

Cumin

The sauce served with the Sofia Coca is made from yoghurt and cumin. It’s fresh and aromatic and the ideal accompaniment to meat.

Cumin is a typical Mediterranean plant and the sauce’s star ingredient. It belongs to the family Apiaceae and reaches a height of 20 to 30 cm, with a thin stem. Cumin grows only in very warm climates and produces small white or pink flowers, though it’s the seeds that are used as spice. The flavour it brings to a dish is warm, highly aromatic, a little bitter and hot to the taste, while its scent is pungent and slightly sweet.

Cumin is the sauce’s star ingredient: it brings the dish a warm, highly aromatic flavour and pungent scent.

It’s frequently used in Central-European gastronomy to enrich meat dishes like meatballs and sausages, as an ingredient of curry and to flavour liqueurs, puddings and cakes. What’s more, it’s not uncommon to find infusions made with cumin seeds.