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Basturma

Pastirma, basturma, pastourma, bastirma, basterma or pastırma is a highly seasoned, air-dried cured beef that is part of Armenian cuisine. The first recorded mention of Basturma was first recorded between 95-45 BC in Armenia during the reign of Tigranes the Great. It’s believed that the technology of air-drying meats was first developed to preserve basturma being traded from Armenia to China and India.During the Byzantine period, it was called apokt.One story gives its origins as the city of Caesarea (modern Kayseri), where there was a Byzantine dish called pastón,which would be translated as «salted meat» and was apparently eaten both raw and cooked in stews. Armenians were known throughout the Levant as the most skilled makers of basturma. In Caesarea (Kayseri), the production of basturma was entirely run by Armenians. The Armenian family name of Basturmajian was held by families that processed the meat. Some authors claim that the medieval Central Asian nomad traditions to modern production of pastirma during the Ottomans is an extension of that older tradition.

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