One of the most important characteristics of Pervari honey (Pervari balı) is that it is produced by bees that live amid its diverse flora – hundreds of flowers and plants. Honey produced in the mountainous parts of the Siirt Pervari district, one of the most picturesque provinces of our country, is considered among the most valuable karakovan (black hive) honey in Türkiye. This uniquely delicious, healing honey is made by bees feeding on a thousand and one different types of flowers. The honey is highly recommended for everyone, especially those with heart, liver, intestinal, or stomach disorders, blood pressure or circulation issues, and vascular diseases.
Another important feature differentiating Pervari Balı is that it is produced in black hives (karakovan) and knitted baskets, in accordance with traditional methods. Siirt Blackhive (Karakovan) Pervari Balı is a whiter shade than the yellow honey produced in many other regions.
It is known that Pervari Balı is good for heart, liver, intestinal and stomach disorders, as well as blood pressure and blood circulation issues, and vascular diseases. The honey – often utilized by smokers to clear their oesophagus, also has an aphrodisiac effect. Thanks to these qualities, Pervari Balı is one of the few honeys considered to be and sought as a healing source in our country. Pervari Balı – desired for its taste, healing, and quality, was known to be a honey consumed in Ottoman palaces.
Exported to 20 countries, including some in Asia, Europe, and Africa, the Siirt pistachio (Siirt Fıstığı) is highly popular due to its large kernels and easily cracked shells. The Siirt pistachio is a geographically indicated product, and features an aroma that is unique to the Siirt region and derived from the area’s soil, air, and water. It is considered the highest grade pistachio in the region, thanks to the region’s low humidity and soil structure. This delicious pistachio is also valued because it is difficult and laborious to grow.
The fat and protein in Siirt Fıstığı are in amounts required by the human body, thus even one kilo of these pistachios can be consumed without ill effects. These pistachios are also rich in vitamins E, B and C, and allegedly regulate blood sugar levels and reduce cholesterol. Even children can safely consume this distinctive nut, which energizes and strengthens the body and mind.
One of the most delicious and common snacks enjoyed by many are roasted salted pistachios. Pistachios are a quality treat, whether meeting with friends or adding flavour to desserts, cakes, and cookies.
The grapes grown along the valley are both popular and highly sought after. These long-grained grapes typically grow in areas with high humidity and are among Siirt’s indispensable products due to their ‘sour (mayhoş)’ taste, size and juiciness. The Tayfi grape (Tayfı üzümü) in particular is renowned for its plump appearance and exquisite taste. This grape is known as Taifi (Tayfi) because it was brought to Siirt by migrants from Taif.
The Zivzik pomegranate (Zivzik narı) provides a livelihood for many villagers and is cultivated with organic farming methods. The Zivzik Narı is in high demand due to its thin husk, distinctive flavour and fragrant aroma. Almost 2,000 tons of Zivzik Narı are harvested in the autumn, in the village of Zivzik (Dişlinar), which gave its name to the fruit, and in the surrounding villages. The fruits are then stored for the winter: the skins become tough, but the seeds ripen into a wonderful sweetness.
Scientists recommend consuming plenty of pomegranates, especially during the winter months when we are at risk for infectious diseases.
Known as the fruit of heaven, pomegranates can be eaten in winter for their health benefits. They are also wonderful in summer as cooling fruit juice or a refreshing cocktail.
The flowers, seeds, juice, and peels of the pomegranate are used medicinally in various mixtures.
Büryan Kebabı is served elsewhere in Türkiye but is also something of a local specialty in Siirt. A whole lamb or kid is suspended on an iron bar by its hind legs and placed into 1-1.5-meter-deep well, with embers placed at the bottom. The mouth of the well is sealed with mud and the meat is slow cooked.