Colorful and rich, the Turkish cuisine is one of the most varied in the world, deriving influence from its history and culture and continuously evolving over the centuries.
Turkey is a crossroads between Europe, Asia, and the Orient. This unique location combined with the migration of Turks from Central Asia to Europe has shaped the identity of its gastronomy over the centuries.
In addition to being the refined product of centuries of experience, the Turkish Cuisine has a very pure quality. Being highly seasonal, the dishes are inherently healthy, made of the freshest products available throughout the country. The variety and simplicity of the recipes and the quality of the ingredients guarantees a delicious culinary experience.
The complexity of Turkish cuisine comes from the wide array of tastes in each of its regions, shaped by the great diversity of fauna and flora particular to that specific area. Anatolian and South East of Turkey’s Cuisine, for example, is known for its kebabs as a result of its abundant livestock, the Aegean region, known for its olive production, is famous for its delicious olive oil vegetable dishes and herbs, while pastries are the monopoly of Thrace. The cuisine of the Black Sea is heavily based on sea products and finds its influence
in the Balkans and Slavic
Türkiye has a remarkable array of cultural traditions fed by elements that differ in each region. The Turkish cuisine goes well beyond the expectations of the gourmets, offering distinct flavors in almost every city.
Modern Turkish cuisine has reached perfection with the efforts of hundreds of professional chefs, who specialize in dishes from many cultures that existed throughout history. Now, those dishes became indispensable for the gourmet tables after being reinvented in the hands of young chefs. With unique experiences provided by restaurants making the lists of world’s best, İstanbul is a city of gastronomy that offers the most delicious samples from both Ottoman Court dishes and the cultures that came and went for centuries, as well as every region of Türkiye.
Edirne is known for its pan-seared liver, and its neighboring city Tekirdağ is known for its meatballs, world-famous Turkish rakı and local wines. İzmit’s fairy floss and Adapazarı’s famed meatballs are among the must-taste flavors of the region. Visitors to Bursa, which is one of the largest cities in the Marmara region, must experience the renowned İskender Kebap and candied chestnuts.
With both healthy and delicious recipes, the Mediterranean cuisine is a paradise for foodies who enjoy vegetables, fruits, seafood, grains and dishes cooked with olive oil. It is so easy to create gastronomic routes that will keep you busy for days. The first place that comes to mind when it comes to ice cream in Türkiye is Kahramanmaraş, located on the east end of the region. Discover a multitude of unique recipes in the cuisine of Antakya, a district of Hatay. Harboring flavors arising from the blend of surrounding cultures for centuries, Antakya cuisine revived nearly 40 forgotten recipes.
With a variety of olives, freshest herbs, fragrant dishes cooked with olive oil and sea-scented flavors, the Aegean cuisine has its place in the world of gastronomy. The herbs that grow all over the Aegean region are famous and many residential areas such as Urla and Alaçatı hold herb festivals. The calamari meatballs, grilled octopus’ arms, stuffed squash blossoms, mastic ice cream, sea beans, fava, herb-filled pastries, artichokes, stuffed chard leaves, and stuffed vine leaves prepared with olive oil are on the top of the list of flavors you must taste. The region is also famous for its grapes and wines, grape molasses, grape juice and grape jams.
Black Sea Region
Sumptuous meals with unique flavours await those who follow the nature’s call and visit the Black Sea region. Begin the day with a breakfast and view, and enjoy the local and organic flavours. Tast the delicious specialties of the Black Sea cuisine, like white beans at Çayeli restaurants, try the anchovy from the Black Sea and enjoy the comforting Hamsiköy rice pudding in Trabzon.
Central Anatolia Region
Every province in the Central Anatolia region offers its own unique flavours. Eskişehir’s chebureki and the sorpa soup prepared with lamb meat, Konya’s traditional etli ekmek (bread with minced meat), sacara and fırın Kebap, Sivas’ famed meatballs, pide and katmer, Kayseri’s dumplings and pastırma are dishes that must be tasted while visiting the Central Anatolia Region. In addition to its unique dish the Ankara tava, the capital offers a multitude of choices with many restaurants serving exquisite samples from local and world cuisines.
Eastern Anatolia Region
Van stands out with its herby cheese enriching the city’s famous and delicious breakfast. The pearl mullet caught in Lake Van is among the unique flavors that must be experienced. Kars is famous for its graviera and kaşar cheese. Bitlis style büryan Kebap, Erzurum cağ Kebap, Ardahan’s sacaltı Kebap and dil Kebap are also very unique to the region, leaving the visitors’ palates with unforgettable culinary memories.
Urfa Kebap, liver Kebap, raw meatballs, lahmacun, pilaf varieties, bostana salad and künefe as a dessert are some of the delicious dishes you will find in Şanlıurfa. Many more flavours will await you in Gaziantep, whose cuisine is placed on the list of UNESCO’s Cities of Gastronomy. What makes the Gaziantep dishes so special is the variety of ingredients used, for exemple, Gaziantep cuisine uses seven kinds of sour flavours while traditional cuisines use one or two.
Turkish coffee (türk kahvesi) is different from traditional coffee because the marc is present in the cup, it comes thick and dark in a small cup while Turkish tea (çay) is most of the time black tea, drunk in a small glass. In Turkey, tea is a real institution, it is a sign of hospitality. It is served when you visit people, and often offered at the end of a meal, but is also drunk at any time of the day.
Turkish tea and coffee being well known, other national drinks such as ayran, shira, salgam, sahlep and boza are worth to be mentioned.
If you like alcohol you can try Rakı, the national drink made of twice-distilled grapes and anise, or a nice glass of wine. There are 600 to 1200 different grape varieties in Türkiye. The leading vineyard regions are the coastline of the Marmara Sea, Cappadocia in Central Anatolia, Aegean Region and eastern provinces like Elazığ and Diyarbakır.
Türkiye, a land of history, diverse landscapes and rich culture.
Türkiye is home to many places that are beyond your wildest dreams, with its breathtaking natural attractions, one of a kind historical archaeological sites, unique and rich cuisine and advanced accommodation infrastructure, visiting this country is an unparalleled experience.
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