Top 5 Things to Eat In Turkey
Turkish cuisine has influenced many of the countries that were part of the Ottoman Empire and reflects Turkey’s history and geography. The varied climate means that there is always an abundance of the freshest vegetables and fruits available to cook with. Turkish food is not overly spiced, apart from in the Southeast, typical seasonings are mint, dill, flat-leaf parsley, paprika, cumin and the lemony, dried and ground berries from an edible sumac shrub. Modern-day Turkish cuisine fuses Middle Eastern, North African and Central Asian cuisines and flavours
Here are Direct Travellers 5 top delicious dishes for you must try whilst on holiday in Turkey.
These are the wonderful small dishes which are eaten before the main meal or can be a light meal in themselves and are tantalising morsels to entice the appetite. Meze is always to be shared with friends and is intended to accompany drink, scenery or conversation. You can explore bite-size different flavours, textures and aromas between Raki, Turkey’s aniseed – flavoured national drink distilled from grapes. Hot dishes follow cold dishes and include dolma (vine leaves stuffed), borek (pastry rolls) cacik (yoghurt with mint), octopus, fava (beans), hummus and kofte (lamb) . In Turkish, Dolma means “to be stuffed” and one the most popular Dolma is “stuffed vine leaves” or Yaprak Dolmasi. You can stuff bell peppers, cabbage, eggplants and tomatoes. In addition to rice the stuffing contains, nuts and raisins, but it varies from region to region. Dolmas made without meat are served cold; while dolmas made with meat are served warm. -YUMMY!
Turkey is famous for its kebabs the world over and there is no better place to eat them than in the country itself. The word Kebab (Kabob) literally means any kind of grilled meat served alongside vegetables. Turks don’t eat pork due to their Muslim religion so the main meat used is lamb, but beef and chicken are also used. The Shish kebab is traditionally grilled meat served on a skewer with vegetable pieces such as onion, zucchini, tomato placed in between. The equally well known Doner Kebab is made from meat grilled on a large vertical skewer. Turks don’t eat pork, because of the religion. But you can find beef, lamb, fish and poultry in the dishes, although the vegetarian specialties are also incredible. The Adana Kebab is a spicier option of grilled ground meat. The aromas of kebabs cooking are evocative of Turkey wherever you are in the world.
Being surrounded on three sides by sea means that Turkey has always been a place to eat the freshest sea- food. Fried mussels are a perennial favourite in the seafood category, and are especially tasty with a ground nut sauce containing garlic and vinegar or lemon juice. Hamsi (Anchovy) is Turkey’s favourite fish, and is known as the prince of all fish and cooked in a variety of ways such as steaming and frying. The most delicious way to eat fish is by grilling it over charcoal which envelopes the fish in smoke thereby bringing out the delicate flavours. Along the Aegean, octopus and calamari are popular meze dishes.
Baklava is the most famous Turkish dessert with delicate layers of filo pastry spread with melted butter, pistachios or walnuts and drizzled with honey. As the pastry bakes the Baklava the sweet liquid soaks up. When speaking of baklava, the first place that comes to mind is Gaziantep, from where baklava masters have spread all over Turkey. It is believed that the rolling pin should be made of wood from the pear tree. In addition to the traditional baklava filled with pistachio and walnut, it is possible to find light, diabetic and aloe vera baklava.
Throughout the centuries Lokum (Turkish delight) has been an essential part of traditional cuisine in the Ottoman Palaces. In Europe it became popular during the 18th Century when it was brought back to the UK and given the name by which we all know it today; Turkish Delight. It is a light, sugary gel sweet generally flavoured with rosewater, mastic, Bergamot orange, or lemon. It is traditionally cut into small cubes of different colours and can make a lovely gift to take home for presents.