Food & Drinks
Many well-known recipes show an influence from Turkish cuisine: yogurt salads, fish in olive oil, stuffed vegetables and vine leaves, and syrupy filo dough desserts.
Turkish food is regarded as one of the world's great cuisines. Today, travelers are discovering Turkey, and dining well. The Mediterranean diet, which includes Turkey's, is considered a healthy diet to follow.
It is common in the markets to taste before you buy. Holes cut into melons allow the shopper to taste first. Delivery boys bring tea on copper trays to shoppers while they sample the peppers, spices, and fruits. Sacks of linden tea, dried fruits, sea sponges, henna, jars of amber honey, olives, and spice blends compete for attention.
As a traveler in Turkey, or a cook here at home, recipes are easily identifiable and not difficult to prepare. The beauty of Turkish cooking is in its affordability, use of fresh ingredients, and ease of basic cooking techniques. Dishes are simply presented, not hidden under sauces, or excessive presentations. Classic recipes from centuries of palace and home cooking are well known to all home cooks.
The first meal of the day is breakfast. A typical Turkish breakfast is fresh tomatoes, white cheese, black olives, bread with honey and preserves, and sometimes an egg.
Lunch often will include a rice or bulgar pilaf dish, lamb or chicken baked with peppers and eggplant, and fresh fish grilled with lemon. A popular lamb cut is prizolla. These are extra thin cut lamb chops which are seasoned with sumac, thyme, and quickly grilled. Favorites include sucuk, a spicy sausage, and pastirma, a sun dried cumin-fenugreek coated preserved beef. It is sliced thin much like pastrami.
For lunch or dinner, soups are central in Turkish cuisine. In addition to the famous red lentil soup, there is a well-known soup with the exotic name of Wedding Soup made with lamb shanks in an egg broth.
Dinners will most commonly start with mezeler, (singular, mezze) or appetizers. Mezeler are Turkish specialties, showing off the originality and skill of a restaurant. Roasted pureed eggplant, fine chopped salads, miniature filled pasta called "manti," pepper and turnip pickles, mackerel stuffed with pilaf, sardines rolled in grape leaves, and "kofte", spiced lamb meatballs, all tantalize the diner.
Dessert is commonly melon and fresh fruit. Desserts made with filo dough, puddings of rose water and saffron, are favored. Another favorite is dried apricots drenched in syrup, stuffed with buffalo milk cheese and garnished with pistachio nuts. All sweets are usually served with Turkish coffee. Turks are credited with the spread of coffee throughout their empire and later Europe. During the day the popular drink is tea, served in crystal tulip shaped glasses. Chai houses are popular among the village men, while coffee houses cater towards the young moderns in cities. Two popular winter drinks are: cinnamon flavored sahlep, a drink made from powdered iris root, and boza, a fermented barley drink. Raki, an anise liqueur is the national drink of Turkey. Sour cherry juice, turnip juice, rose tea and "elma chai", apple peel tea are all popular.
Information about Medical Care, beaches, Food & Drinks, news from Side, Money, Language, Passport & Visa, Golf.
Money in Turkey
Passport & Visa
Golf in Side/Antalya