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Turkish Food and Turkish Cuisine


There are many varieties of Turkish dishes that create Turkish cuisine. Turkish cuisine is not homogenous. Turkish recipes are a mixture of various delicacies inherited from different regions of the vast Ottoman Empire.

Turkey has seven regions: the Black Sea region,  the Aegean, the Mediterranean, the Marmara region, Central Anatolia and the East and Southeast Anatolia regions.

If you are in the Black Sea region, you will find more fish meals, because people are fishermen. Their ecological companion is the “hamsi” a small fish similar to the anchovy.  Red cabbage, green beans and pickles are basic dishes.

The cuisines of the Aegan, Mediterranean and Marmara regions display basic characteristics of Mediterranean cuisine as they are rich in vegetables, herbs and fish. If you are in the Aegean cost like in Izmir, try Çupra fish. Çupra fish is exclusively in Aegean Sea.

The most notable parts of the Turkish Cookery are: pastries (börek) filled with meat, cheese, vegetables or any other filling depending on the imagination; hors d'oeuvres (meze); stuffed vegetables and vine leaves (dolma) of two different kinds with meat or rice; broiled or roasted meat dishes (kebab and köfte); different kinds of rice dishes (pilâv).

Meats (especially shish kebabs) are usually marinated and grilled over an open fire.

One of the most notable Turkish dishes is zeytinyağlı: a certain vegetable is cooked with onions and tomatoes in abundant olive oil and garnished with salt, sugar and sometimes garlic, and served cold.

The famous "imambayıldı" is particularly worth mentioning. It means "the imam fainted", but the legend does not clarify whether the imam fainted because of the tastiness of the dish, or because of the great amount of olive oil used in it!  

The "imambayıldı" consists of eggplant stuffed with onions, garlic, and tomatoes, then simmered in olive oil.

Another variant is karnıyarık, which includes chopped meat.

After such a great variety of delicious dishes, the desserts also take a great part. The desserts and confections of Turkey bear witness to the rich history of its people's cuisine and geography.

The dessert known as "Tavukgogsu", made with the milk-white meat of chicken breast was introduced into ancient Rome from the Mediterranean and reintroduced into Anatolia by the Romans.

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