Involved in Arab customs, seasoned with Mediterranean motifs, it insisted on the standards of Balkan cuisine and Turkic nomads, tempered by the canons of Islam and languished in the ovens of Caucasian tendencies. Skyscanner has selected 12 of the best dishes and drinks you must try in Turkey.
The range of Turkish confectionery will drive any sweet tooth crazy. Delicate dough petals and nut filling ooze with honey. And this is a real problem, because you really want to try all kinds at once! But there are many other desserts. And in pastry shops from Istanbul to Gaziantep, visitors hang in front of the counter for a long time, choosing what to treat themselves this time: pistachio or chocolate nougat, natural pomegranate juice Turkish delight, sugar tulumba, halva or lokma in syrup.
For a thoughtful and complete understanding of local sweets, start a tradition of buying something new every day. If time is short, order a dessert in a cafe during the day, and buy goodies in a pastry shop for evening tea in your room. Turkish delight with a glass of tea is a great end to the day, checked!
Kokorech is not served in ordinary cafes and restaurants. “You try, and then I will tell you what it is,” the Turks intrigue. They bring you a meat dish with vegetables – or meat on a quarter of bread. You try this spicy blend, not understanding why it is so special. The mustachioed Turk observes your reaction and reports that kokorech is lamb giblets, fried on a spit and tied with intestines. The heart, lungs, kidneys of the lamb are roasted on coals, finely chopped with herbs and vegetables and sprinkled with spices. It turns out a hearty and spicy dish: a classic of Turkish fast food and an ideal snack for beer.
Simit is the champion among bagels, famous all over the world. Taste nuances may vary depending on the region: thin and crispy in Ankara, simit is much more plump in Istanbul, and in Antalya you can even buy a soft confectionery version. One thing is invariable: the Turks have this favorite street food. Not without reason carts with simits stand on every corner, and in the hand of almost every third passer-by you can see this crispy bagel.
Simit is eaten just like that, but tastier – with Nutella, jam, butter or cream cheese. There are even whole simit cafes where snacks with cheese, ham, vegetables and other fillings are made on the basis of such a sesame bun. In Istanbul, a tray with simits will definitely be on any embankment, as if hinting that it is better not to admire the Bosporus or sail on a ferry on an empty stomach. We advise you to buy two at once: local cats and seagulls are big connoisseurs of sims.
4. Fish and bread
The first thing that the Turks themselves advise trying, eloquently pointing in the direction of the fishermen, is “balk”. Do not be surprised if attempts to find out what kind of special fish it is are not crowned with success. “Bali” means “fish” in Turkish. Any fish. So what does everyone recommend to try?
It is best to start with balyk-ekmek. And for this it is worth going to places where fishermen gather – for example, to the Galata Bridge in Istanbul. Freshly caught fish is immediately grilled and served in bread or lemon juice with vegetables: a real meal! You can continue your acquaintance with the “balk” in any café or restaurant, preferably on the embankment: there you will be offered many types of fish and seafood baked in pots.
5. Ice cream
Go to the gelateria and choose the taste of ice cream balls – no, you won’t get off so easily in Turkey! The show begins with the cherished phrase “bir dondurma, lutfen!” (“one ice cream, please”). The dondurma master performs tricks no worse than a real circus performer or bartender: he juggles cups.
shouts fervently, hides ice cream behind his back, gives you a try, forcing you to stretch with all your might. And it certainly won’t give you the desired dessert so easily: beckoning the buyer several times and pulling the cup out of your hands at the last moment is an indispensable part of the ritual.
Cream soups are especially popular in Turkey. Thick and tender, they are made from a variety of ingredients: pumpkin, tomatoes, shrimp, mushrooms, broccoli, peas and lentils – every day you can try a new soup. At the very least, you can’t leave without trying the top 3 most colorful local soups: tarkhana chorbasy (a national dish of dried and ground vegetables, yeast and flour), vermicelli soup with green lentils and offal soup.
The real star among kebabs is Iskander: thinly sliced lamb served with small pieces of flatbread in tomato sauce, melted butter and sour cream. Fans of spicy food will appreciate adana kebab: richly peppered minced meat fried on a spit. Shish kebab.
a Turkish variation on the kebab theme, is made from lamb and topped with tomatoes and sweet peppers. And don’t forget about the doner kebab – simple and stereotypical, but no less tasty for that. In Turkey, kebabs are prepared literally in every institution.