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the best of Turkish cuisine

Turkey is a real gastronomic paradise. Fragrant kebabs, spicy soups, the freshest pastries, juicy vegetables, desserts that melt in your mouth – the national dishes of this country are incomparable.  Convenient lists with names in local and Russian languages, photos, videos and descriptions of the best dishes will be useful for both independent travelers and those who relax in all-inclusive hotels.

Turkish breakfast

In Turkey, it is customary to have a hearty breakfast. If you are not going on an all-inclusive vacation, order Turkish breakfast (or kahvaltı) at the café – this is a great deal that will help you save money. For breakfast in Turkey, you will get scrambled eggs, sausages, sausage with cheese, French fries, olives, fresh vegetables, toast or buns with butter and jams, honey. They may give a little less, but more often – more. Even in Istanbul and in popular resorts like Antalya or Kamer, prices for kahvaltı in cafes are quite low, and tea is usually served free of charge.

To organize a Turkish breakfast at home, buy local olives or black olives in glass jars, salted lemons, hummus. If you are driving nearby, take the traditional White Cheese (do not forget that you need to check it in your luggage). Also in Turkey it is worth buying jams from figs, feijoada or any other unusual fruits. We advise those with a sweet tooth to pay attention to honey or hazelnut chocolate paste – the prices are pleasant. For breakfast, try sukuk (dried Turkish sausage) – it will perfectly reach home in a suitcase.

The best pastries

In Turkey, unusually delicious bread is baked. Even an ordinary long loaf or wheat bun is worth a try.

We have compiled a rating of national Turkish pastries. The top 5 included:

Simit | simit. A real bagel champion. It is known all over the world – it is a gastronomic symbol of Istanbul, popular throughout Turkey. Crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, the Turkish Sesame Bagel is great neat or topped with cream cheese, butter, chocolate spread, and jam.

Pita and pied | pied. Be sure to try pita in Turkey. It is of two types. Pita bread is a flat unleavened bread. The pita (or pied) dish is somewhat reminiscent of pizza. This is a cake in the form of a boat stuffed with minced meat with vegetables or cheese and egg filler.
Golem | golems. Worth a try neat or stuffed. Golem is a cross between pita bread and unleavened pancakes. Perhaps this is the most dietary bread in Turkey. It is often served with a filling of potatoes, spinach with cheese, or minced meat.
Lahmajun | lahmajun. You must try this Turkish dish if you like pizza. The thinnest lavish with tomato sauce, spices and stuffing of minced meat or vegetables.
Breaks, burked | Borek. Delicious puff pastry pies that are always cooked in the oven. Usually burkes are sprinkled with black sesame seeds. In Turkey, we advise you to try the option with meat or cheese.
You can bring a few simits home from Turkey. Buy them right in front of the road, take them in hand luggage.

Meze, appetizers, salads

Meze in Turkey is a cold or hot appetizer. Most often, in restaurants, they are served before meals, so that the guest warms up the appetite in anticipation of the main course. Often they bring crayfish – aniseed vodka.

Be sure to try Turkish cold appetizers. They are often found on the “buffet” in hotels. They are usually eaten with flatbread, fresh bread or vegetables. From traditional:

Acela Esme (aioli Esme) – a classic Turkish spicy tomato-pepper appetizer, reminiscent of adjika;
Humus (hummus) – mashed chickpeas with sesame tahini paste, which in Turkey is often prepared with interesting spices;
Fava Bean Puree (fava bean puree) – the same hummus, but from ordinary beans;
Haidari (Haidari) – a popular Turkish snack based on yogurt with olive oil and spices;
Eva Adivasi (eve askari) – sun-dried tomato paste with nuts and spices.

Everything is standard with salads: vegetable cuts, mixes with tuna, appetizers with lots of eggs. The cold fried eggplant salad Pelican Salat’s is especially good. In Alayna, Antalya and Kamer, Riyaz (pizazz) is popular – bean salad with onions seasoned with tahini paste. Most often in Turkey, cucumbers are served with tomatoes and onions – this is a standard addition to kebabs. Be prepared that onions are in almost every salad, there are always a lot of them.

From hot appetizers, you should try mussels with lemon juice or baked shrimp.

To prepare Turkish snacks at home, you need to buy hummus, tahini paste in a glass jar, spices. For the latter, go to the bazaar: fresh, fragrant, inexpensive – the seller will help you choose the most delicious. From ready-made mezes, try cold appetizers from the Bibbers brand – look in supermarkets in plastic containers.

Most Popular Soups

Soups in Turkey are called corban or cobras (chorea/choirboys). Most often they are thick, soft creamy, hearty, spicy.

From Turkish soups, you need to try at least three national ones:

Tarhana | Tarhana cobras. Try this spicy Turkish soup based on yogurt, dried vegetables, flour and fermented pasta. Great option for vegetarians
Merimee | Mercies cobras. Fragrant thick tomato lentil soup is a national dish in Turkey. Cream is sometimes added to it and spices are always put. Merdzhimek is often cooked in meat broth.
Ayla | Ayla cobras. Turkish yogurt soup is good in the heat. Be sure to try it if you are on vacation in Turkey in summer or autumn. It is cooked with crushed rice with the addition of fresh mint – it turns out a fresh, fragrant, unusual soup.
If you like soups, buy home a dry mixture of tarhana to prepare a dish of the same name. Do not forget about spices (you can take ready-made mixtures for certain soups).

Top 5 Main Dishes

It is difficult to find pork dishes in Turkey.  Vegetarians also have a place to roam – in Turkey they love vegetables, chickpeas, rice with spices.

Turks cook deliciously, be sure to try the most popular national dishes:

Kebab | Kebab. The king of national Turkish cuisine. The prefix to the word kebab means the way it is prepared or served:
Diner kebab (diner) – meat with spices, onions, vegetables and a special sauce in pita bread or pita (Turkish shawarma);
Adana kebab (Adana) – a long spicy grilled lamb or beef kebab, always served with vegetables;
Shish kebab (shish) – a classic meat kebab, which is often served with rice;
Iskandar kebab (Iskandar) – thin slices of meat with a spicy tomato sauce, poured over with yogurt, often served with herbs and vegetables.

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