*note, some blurring and black barring was used to protect identities
Şerbet (sher-bet) is a sugary concoction created from a very specific ratio of sugar, water, and typically a dash of citrus juice. This mixture can be prepared thick and syrupy to be used on desserts- such as baklava, some cookies, and others. Whenever you encounter a Turkish dessert with a sweet sticky topping, that is şerbet. It can also be prepared thinner and with extra fruit juice to become a refreshingly sweet beverage.
It is from the last version that engagement parties take their nickname- Şerbet. Shortly after arriving in Turkey we were invited to a distant relative’s engagement party. I can’t even explain my confusion when everyone around me was talking about going to a Şerbet. My husband later explained to me that, at engagement parties, şerbet is often served as a treat to the guests.
Well, that makes a lot more sense, doesn’t it?
Summer is the season for weddings and engagements, and if you are living in Turkey or have been there recently- you may find a wedding/engagement ceremony occurring on nearly every block- every night! There are many types of ceremonies- city types, which usually occur in a salon (rented hall), and köy (village) types, that usually occur outside in a garden space or in an open area in the neighborhood. We went to the latter!
It was pretty easy to tell who was from the village and who was coming in from the city. There was a hodge podge of outfits, ranging from traditional Ege (Aegean) farm attire of flowing floral print pants and long sleeved tshirts to kaftans with blazers. Fortunately anne prepared me well with jeans and a nice shirt/blazer combo. I wanted to make a good impression! But the last engagement party I went to was more formal and city style…it all worked out, I assure you.
There is more to an engagement than just the şerbet. Lokum (turkish delight) may also be found circulating on trays and served with a spritz of lemon or rose cologne to refresh the guests in the heat of the night. As is tradition, Money and gold coins or jewelry is pinned or hung on the celebrating couple, which is kept to help them prepare their new life together.
well..they dance. I watch. Because I’m not zeybek enough…YET! #expatproblems