Turkish food is part of the most important gastronomies worldwide, not only because of the variety and enormous number of recipes, but also because of its influence on other cultures. It occupies a privileged place that has contributed much to the cuisines of the Middle East, Balkan and Mediterranean.
Among the most common ingredients are spices and vegetables, especially stuffed, as in the case of tomatoes, zucchini, aubergines and peppers. Legumes such as red lentils, chickpeas, broad beans and beans, among many others, are also present.
Vegetables such as cucumbers, peppers, grape leaves and a long etcetera; beef, veal, lamb, and chicken; fish and seafood; Dairy derivatives such as cheeses, various types of butter, sour creams or yogurts, breads, cereals and drinks of all kinds: there is definitely something for all tastes.
Turkish food, an enviable heritage
Turkey’s historical heritage is truly enviable, as is its geographical location, which, among other things, includes four seas. Turkey has always influenced other cultures, especially from its gastronomy. It has all kinds of dishes that go from the simplest to the most exotic and a worldwide recognition about which there is no discussion.
Its cuisine is authentic, balanced and exquisite and, without a doubt, it is one of the most appreciated cuisines on the planet. If you dare to know more about this universe of sensations, we invite you to enjoy what follows below.
1. Döner kebab
It is one of the most traditional and international dishes of Turkish food. It consists of a large piece of meat that is roasted vertically while turning. To serve it, it is cut into thin slices. There are variants of this dish, both in its ingredients and in the way it is prepared.
Its ingredients include beef or lamb, onion, garlic, sour cream, olive oil, bay leaf, pepper, lemon, parsley, and salt. For its preparation , the meat must be marinated in advance, then the vegetables are chopped and mixed with the cream. Lemon, salt and oil are added to this mixture, which will soak into the meat while it roasts.
2. Dolma : a very popular dish of Turkish food
It is a dish of Ottoman origin and, today, a highly appreciated aperitif in the countries of the Eastern Mediterranean. The term means ‘filling’, although it is also known as yaprak , which translates as ‘leaf’. This snack is used to serve hot when it has meat, and cold when it does not.
For its preparation, fresh grape leaves, pepper, garlic, butter, yogurt and water are required. Additionally, ground meat, rice, onion, aromatic herbs, pepper and salt are needed for the filling. The grape leaves are blanched and when cooled they are filled with the aforementioned mixture. They are heated in water and served with garlic yogurt.
It is one of the most consumed and appreciated beverages in Turkish culture, along with tea and coffee. This drink has transcended borders, being consumed even in chain restaurants and along with fast foods. It is usually the ideal accompaniment to Turkish cuisine dishes.
In its preparation, natural sheep’s milk yogurt, mineral water, a pinch of salt, whole and finely chopped mint leaves and, in some cases, macerated garlic are used. For its preparation, the ingredients are mixed and blended until obtaining a smooth texture. Served with ice and a mint leaf for garnish.
They are exquisite meat dumplings and undoubtedly one of the most traditional dishes of Turkish food. There are more than 300 varieties of these meatballs, as well as many different ways to prepare them. They are eaten as an appetizer or as a complete meal.
Its ingredients include minced beef or lamb, onion, breadcrumbs, yogurt, eggs, garlic, cumin, oregano, cayenne, chilli, curry, parsley, pepper and salt. For its preparation, the vegetables are finely chopped and then mixed with the rest of the ingredients. They are left overnight in the refrigerator and then rolled into balls and fried.
5. Mercimek corbası
It is one of the most delicious soups in the huge list of Turkish food soups. In this country, soups are eaten hot or cold, depending on the season of the year. Even in the Turkish past, soup was eaten for breakfast, which is why this food has deep cultural roots.
Its preparation includes red lentils, fine bulgur or couscous, mushrooms, onion, butter, vegetable or meat broth and tomato paste. Additionally, it has pepper concentrate, mint, black pepper and salt.
The finely chopped onion is sautéed together with the tomato paste and butter, the bulgur, the lentils, the pepper and the broth are added. Then the sliced mushrooms and the other ingredients are added. Boil for 30 minutes.
6. Baklava : the dessert in Turkish food
They are unique desserts with an exquisite flavor. As with other dishes, this dessert has a multitude of variants and is highly appreciated internationally. You cannot miss any celebration. Among its main ingredients are the phyllo dough in sheets, clarified butter or ghee , pistachios, sugar, water and lemon juice.
For its preparation, a mold is greased with the butter and 15 sheets of the filo dough impregnated with clarified butter are arranged, one by one. Then the whole or split pistachios are spread and the operation is repeated. Afterwards, they are baked and to serve honey or lemon juice is added.
As you can see, Turkish cuisine offers very varied dishes, for all types of palates and always delicious. And this has been just a small sample.