History, Tradition & Food: Kars

Located in the northeastern part of Turkey, Kars is the central district of the city with the same name. The name of Kars came from the Georgian phrase of Karsikalaki which means gate city. There are twenty-two neighborhoods and seventy villages connected to the central district which is border neighbor of Armenia.  Kars province is Turkey's highest altitude with a population over one hundred thousand including the small villages of the city (city center: 76 992, total: 110 443). It is possible to talk about cultural differences and diversity in the city center where various ethnicities live together and there is a cosmopolitan structure.

According to a source, the name of Kars comes from Karsak tribe from Velentur clan of Bulgarian Turks coming from the north of Caucasus Mountains between the years 130-127 BC. It is thought that there is no other city in Turkey that has an older Turkish name. The name of the region in the 9th century (approx. AD. 888) is Vanand in the literature. Kars was the capital of the region from A.D. 928 to 961, and the findings at the time show that the city's name at that time was in Armenian: Ղարս "Ghars" veya Կարս "Kars". It is also said that the name of the city of Kars is taken from the word Kariskalaki which means the gate city in Georgian language.

Kars cuisine is mainly known for its pastry dishes. Besides, meat dishes are consumed much because animal husbandry is the number one source of livelihood. In rich cuisines it is possible to see especially kete (pastry), bozbaş/piti (chickpeas-meat), hangel (dumpling without meat), sheep’s head soup, haşil, goose dishes (goose in tanduri and rice with goose meat), hörre (flour soup), yoghurt soup and nezik (pastry). Tijen İnaltong, who writes books on food culture, is working on the launch of his book on Food Culture in Kars after the two-year preparation period. Specially grown and dried goose meat and dishes, cheeses made from the milk of animals fed with endemic plants, honey and an amazing architectural masterpiece, Archaelogical Site of Ani ... Take your skis and explore this city.