Turkish cuisine is considered to be one of the
three main cuisines of the world due to its variety
of recipes and its distinctive tastes. Olive oil
is one of the most frequently used ingredients.
Dolma (stuffed) dishes are the queen of Turkish
dishes which are olive-oil based. Vegetables such
as vine leaves, green peppers, tomatoes and aubergines
are stuffed with rice and spices and served cold.
Green beans, leeks and artichokes cooked in olive
oil are served as main od side dishes.
Cheese is a popular menu staple especially at
breakfast. There are a great many regional cheeses,
with white cheese and kasar being the most popular.
Turkish breakfasts can be delicious or mundane,
depending on the freshness and variety of the
ingredients. The best breakfasts consist of warm
fresh bread, creamy white cheese, butter, honey
and home-made preserves, home-cured black and
green olives, garden fresh sliced tomatoes and
and a farm-fresh boiled egge. Tea is the traditional
breakfast bevarage. Other options for breakfasts
are simit (a chewy doughnut-shaped sesame bread),
menemen (a scrambled mixture of eggs, tomatoes
and chilly peppers) or a börek (cheese or minced
filled flaky pastry.)
The variety of snacks can be plentiful and provide
a welcome alternative to the hamburgers and pizza
offered in tourist cafes. Lahmacun, a thin round
bread with spicy minced meat topping, can be tasty,
and in seaside resorts, midye tava (deep-fried
mussels) can be found. More than 100 types of
fish inhabit the seas surrounding three sides
of tha Anatolian peninsula. Having ascertained
the day's catch, samples of which may be presented
to you, you can proceed to grilled (izgara) or
panfried (tava) fish, served wiht lemon wedges
, or sometimes cooked in liquid (bugulama), flavoured
with tomatoes and onions. In Turkey, sauces served
with fish are not very common. A perfect dish
is always accompanied by a green salad and a glass
Raki, the main alcoholic drink of Turkey, is
made from grapes and anise and is best when comsumed
along side a leisurely meal of mezes (appetizers).
These 'starters' are served on small plates and
include fresh salads, white cheese, lakerda (pickled
tuna), Arnavut Cigeri or deep fried liver served
with fresh onion rings, mussels stuffed with rice,
çiroz (sun-dried fish), dolmas, pickles, sigara
böregi (long thin cheese pastry) and many more.
Börek is a flaky Turkish pastry stuffed with cheese,
vegetables or meat. It comes in countless varieties,
depanding on the region. Su böregi and talas böregi
are among the choicest options in this category.
Turkish coffee, drunk after each meal and on
every possible occassion, is unique in its preparation
and taste (the coffee is stirred in cold water
in a cezve -a pot with a hadle and boiled until
it produces a foam. The foam is poured into the
cup and the remaining part is boiled once more.)
Some Turkish culinary specialities have a world-wide
reputation. Lokum-Turkish delight is one of them.
This is starch boiled in sugar syrup to which
hazelnut or pistachio is added. Almond and pistachio
fundants are some of the rich Trusih treats that
are exported throughout the world.