Noah’s Pudding – January 3, 2010
As a lovely gesture to promote cross-cultural understanding, a group of Turkish Muslim women spent hours cooking a special pudding for the members of a Berkeley Jewish temple. This yearly event commemorates the landing of Noah’s Ark on Mount Ararat, in northern Turkey. It is believed that the people on board the ark wanted to celebrate, but their food was almost gone. So they put all they had left in their pudding.
The Turkish women made us a traditional warm mélange of barley, wheat and garbanzo beans, topped with nuggets of dried fruit, nuts, sugar, cinnamon and pomegranate seeds. A key custom connected to making Ashure, one of the oldest desserts in Turkish cuisine, is the tradition that one makes a large pot which is then shared with friends, neighbors, classmates and co-workers, regardless of their religion as an offering of peace and love.