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what you need to try in Turkey

seasonal products

In early spring and until mid-May, artichokes and green plums are a must-try. Autumn is the time of figs and tangerines. Read more about seasonal products below.

The artichoke has many health benefits.
It is a flower plant that is very beneficial for the liver. They even make medicines out of it.

The artichoke is eaten before it opens. The solid base of the flower is stuffed with potatoes, carrots, green peas and watered with lemon juice.

Find among them green plums (in Turkish – erik).The locals adore them precisely when they are not ripe, and they eat these plums with salt. The delicacy is rather unusual, but incredibly tasty.

Celery Root with Orange Sauce

Celery in orange juice / photo by the authorThe dish is called Portakallı Kereviz. The season falls in mid-autumn and winter.

You can try celery in lokantası canteens, where they sell ready-made dishes to choose from.

KazIrtmasI – the best fried vegetables in the world

Kazyrtma is fried potatoes, eggplants, hot and sweet peppers, filled with garlic tomato sauce. The dish is simple but spicy. It is served cold along with yogurt.

Moussaka is a popular dish not only in Turkish but also in Greek cuisine.

Moussaka is a dish of eggplant, minced lamb, tomatoes and spices. Once you try this appetizer, you will love eggplant for life.

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Çökertme kebabı – potatoes with yogurt and garlic

Chokertme kebab – fried potato shavings with yogurt, garlic, meat and spices. Such a dish can be tasted in restaurants located in shopping centers and in coastal cafes in popular resorts.

Haydari – a type of yogurt sauce

Haidari consists of yogurt with sour cream and oriental spices – mint, cake. Sometimes cucumber, garlic, parsley are added there. Usually the dish is served with pide or pita. Once you try this sauce, you will definitely want to make it at home.

The leaves are stuffed with a small amount of stuffing and rolled tightly, then stewed with olive oil and lemon juice. Sarma is usually eaten cold. It tastes sweet and sour, with hints of spices.

Turkish meat dishes

Most of the Turkish population is Muslim, so pork is not cooked in Turkey.

Only a few products contain pork. For example, sausages, bacon. Such products have a special label on the packs. They are sold only in large supermarkets and at inflated prices (mostly imported).

Despite the absence of pork, the locals cook great lamb, milk lambs and veal.

The famous Iskender Kebab

Inskender Kebab is one of the most famous Turkish dishes. The homeland of this dish is the city of Bursa, located in northwestern Turkey.

Lamb meat strips fried over a fire are laid out on a soft pita, poured with tomato sauce, butter or yogurt with garlic.

To prepare doner, thin pita bread, chicken meat or a mix of beef and mutton meat, fresh vegetables (tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce leaves) are used.

Turkish cutlets köfte

One of the most popular and delicious meat treats. There are a lot of options for cooking Turkish meatballs.

The most popular are isgara kofte. They are prepared from beef and lamb mince on the grill. The composition of minced meat includes onions, a little white bread, parsley. Be sure to add spices: cumin, black pepper. These cutlets are served with yogurt or spicy tomato sauce.

Together with köfte, vegetables are cooked on the grill: hot peppers, onions, tomatoes. Ready vegetables are sprinkled with fragrant seasonings.

It is better to try meat dishes in barbecue houses – kasap. They specialize in meat dishes.

Sucuk – oriental sausages

Turkish sausage Sucuk / photo by the author
Sujuk is a Turkish sausage. It is different from what we are used to, and, most likely, very few people will like it the first time.

It is distinguished by the specific taste of garlic with oriental spices. Unlike our sausages, it is not eaten raw. The sausage is cut into thin pieces and fried over low heat. The slices tuck and release excess fat.

Sujuk is added to scrambled eggs, pizza, toast and sandwiches, and you can simply eat it with olives and a boiled egg.

Bastırma/basturma – dried meat

Basturma in a vacuum in a Turkish supermarket / photo by the author
Basturma is a delicious and spicy cured meat in spices. Usually it is beef (marble meat).

Basturma is sold in supermarkets in the sausage departments.

It is served in thin slices. Basturma goes well with beer. However, it can be added to scrambled eggs and stewed beans. Such meat is very expensive, not every Turk can afford it.

Kokoreç is an unusual fast food

Kokorech comes from Asia Minor. This dish is prepared from the intestines of young lambs.

The finished dish consists of bread, inside of which are vegetables (onions, lettuce, tomatoes) and fried crispy “meat”, seasoned with aromatic spices.

Etsiz cig kofte – bulgur meatballs
Bulgur cutlets Chig kofte / photo by the author
Raw meat used to be added to it, but later the authorities banned eating raw meat.

Today, chig kofte is sold everywhere. The dish is inexpensive and delicious. In restaurants, chig kofte is served before the main course. A cutlet the size of half a finger is placed on lettuce leaves, arugula and poured with plenty of lemon juice.

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