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Anatolian festival this weekend in Orange County

October 3, 2011 |  8:00 am

kebabs, baklava, dumplings and that stretchy ice cream. You can bet there will be plenty of great food at the third annual Anatolian Cultures and Food Festival this weekend at the Orange County Fairgrounds in Costa Mesa.

This year's event promises to be even bigger than last year's, which was held at the Orange County Great Park. There will be three-dimensional replicas of five different cities. Guests will enter the grounds through 14 gates, each dedicated to a different Anatolian civilization.

But really, you want to know about the food, right? Organizers say there will be 99 vendors selling a wide range of Turkish dishes, including such well-known favorites as kebabs, baklava, lahmajoun and schwarma.

But there will also be lesser-known treats such as gozleme, which is a kind of Turkish quesadilla; karniyarik, eggplant stuffed with ground meat and tomatoes; kisir, the Turkish variation on tabbouleh; and, of course, that famous sticky ice cream, called dondurma, which is thickened with cornstarch or ground sahlep root.

For ticket information visit the festival website.

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Photo: Mevlud Abursum shows off a big scoop of dondurma, which is Turkish "sticky" ice cream. Credit: Lawrence K. Ho/Los Angeles Times