ava celik badhunterstories glutenfree
Why do I eat what I eat?

influences.

vegetarian.

gluten-free.

Influences.

I was born and raised in Berlin, but my parents come from Turkey. My father is from Istanbul, my mother is from a small fishing village at the Aegean Cost. I grew up with the most delicious mediterranean food.

Turn outs my grand-grandparents from both sides were farmers or food merchants and had big land. In the 1930s they had to flee from today’s Bulgaria as a result of the abolition of the Ottoman Empire, leaving everything behind. They started from scratch: Sunflower and wheat fields around Istanbul, olive trees, tobacco, watermelon fields at the Aegean coast – and everything else you can think of for their own use.

Going to Turkey every summer and eating countless numbers of different vegetables and fruits definitely influences me. The importance people there give to fresh ingredients and the love they put in their cooking. Sometimes people start to prepare a dish in the morning and finish it when the evening begins. The food culture is so rich and so versatile that it’s a little tragedy that people think Turkish or Ottoman food is mainly based on meat. I would argue it’s the opposite.

Back to the question. The other 11 months of the year I was in Berlin. German, Vietnamese, Japanese, Spanish, Italian restaurants on every corner. Street Food. Experimental Food. Molecular! Food pairing, food complimenting, Beer brewing, Sourdough. Homemade Gin. Impossible not to be in love with your Hometown!

Vegetarian.

It’s summer 2000, we are in Turkey and my cousin just had his circumcision. We were celebrating this event and over the course of this celebration, the people who travelled to our summerhouse in Foca, Turkey, had to be fed. What do I see in the kitchen? The head of a lamb. And the rest of his body, just arrived from the butcher. I was a city girl, I came from Berlin. Of course I knew where meat came from. But. These. Eyes. Couldn’t get this picture out of my head.

Never ate meat again. End of the story!

 

Paternal grandparents.

Maternal grandparents.

Gluten-free.

In 2014 I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease (Sprue). I rarely heard of it before and as a serious food-lover I was naturally shocked. But I already developed severe anemia, iron and other vitamin deficiencies, was lethargic and had stomach problems because of it and finally had something in my hand to make this stop. I tried to see the benefits.

I studied Philosophy and Film Studies in Berlin and worked full time as an actress. It felt like I was just running from one place to the other. This was the first time that I had to stop and look after myself. Adapting a complete new way of eating and saying good-bye to a lot of delicious things, especially good quality bread, is hard. You have no other chance but to get creative. Cook much more often. Be unhappy with recipes. And develop your own. 

With cooking in general I developed my personal guidelines, that I try to follow and found peace with – automatically leading to more creativity, better taste and higher nutritional value of foods:

“Support local farmers. Eat seasonal. Don’t waste. Eat a variety of foods. Learn old techniques of preserving.”

My main target is the Perfect Glutenfree Sourdough Bread. I spent months and months in the kitchen, worked every single day on the recipe, with wounded hands from washing dishes. And every single improvement was and is worth it – when you take a bite and know that you got one step closer to the Perfect Glutenfree Sourdough Bread.

 

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