İzmir has been one of the most important transition points of migration since antiquity. Its multicultural structure is reflected in its cuisine. Located in a unique geographical location that has been receiving migrants throughout its history, İzmir’s cuisine is also defined by migration. The richness and diversity of its kitchen derives from the combined cuisine of the Turks, Armenians, Greeks, Jews as well as people migrating from the Caucasia and the Balkans.
Chicory, wild asparagus, nettle, which are among the Essentials of İzmir cuisine have entered the kitchen with Cretan immigrants. Boyoz the indispensable consonant of İzmir breakfast has been brought by the Shephardic Jews migrating from Spain in the 15th century. Just like the mussel stuffed and the aniseed crispy from the Greeks.
The two neighboring communities of Kadifekale and Yapıcıoğlu, who have the largest population of migrants in İzmir have hosted both the Cretans and the exchanging population of 1923. They interpreted the Cretan mussels by stuffing them with plenty of onions, cumin black pepper, cinnamon, currant and pine nuts and thus the İzmir style mussle was created.
İzmir continues to recieve migrants from within the country as well. Last year alone more than 18 thousand migrants have arrived from İstanbul alone. Migration is one of the greatest realities of our time, with its positive and negative aspects. Therefore, while introducing the theme of immigration in the strong cultural diversity of İzmir cuisine, we feel its a must to focus on the theme of migration.