Turkish Cuisine

Gourmets should definitely not miss the chance to taste the traditional kebabs, pastries, diverse kinds of baklava, Turkish coffee, ayran and syrups which are the most delicious specialties of Turkish culinary culture.

One of the greatest cultural legacies of the Turks who played a major role in the beginning and development of the history of civilization and undertook the first great migration bringing along their values and culture to the Anatolian lands is the Turkish cuisine.

The Turkish cuisine, which had originated from the blending of the Asian, European, Middle Eastern and African cultures and evolved under the influence of the Seljuk and Ottoman Cuisines over the centuries, offers thousands of various dishes and delicacies.

Turkish cuisine evolved long before the Common Era, during the times of hunting and gathering. To provide the hunters with delicious and savory food the women of the time developed various dishes by trial and error and discovered the spices that added flavor.

During the times of nomadic living and settled life after on, the Turks occupied themselves with husbandry that led to the consumption of milk and the discovery of a variety of dairy foods such as cheese, yoghurt and ayran (a yoghurt drink). Agricultural products such as wheat and barley are the major cereals that form the basis of Turkish culinary culture.

One of the most significant legacies of the Ottoman Era, the Palace cuisine, which has given the evolving Turkish cuisine its final touch, is still preserved today. The Ottoman Palace cuisine diversified with the adaptation of diverse flavors and recipes as the borders of the Ottoman Empire kept extending throughout the Asian, European and African continent and reached its heyday during the 19th century.

Some of the flavors that have enriched the international cuisine after the discovery of the American continent paved their way to the Palace Cuisine as well. With the discovery of the vast continent, food items such as tomatoes, tomato paste, beans, potatoes, turkey, and cocoa had reached the soils of Anatolia in no time and become indispensable ingredients of many Turkish specialties.

The influence of the Palace Cuisine can be observed in various international cuisines of the present day thanks to the foreign cooks of the Ottoman Era who adapted various original recipes to their native cuisine.

Tea, one of the indispensable items of Turkish culinary culture, does not have such a long history although it is commonly consumed in the present day. Turkish black tea, grown in the Eastern Black Sea region and imported for the first time in the 19th century, has become an essential part of the dominant culture by now and is drunk any time of the day.

Turkish coffee, on the other hand, is a unique type of coffee made with a special brewing method invented by Turks. This specialty, often served together with water, Turkish Delight or liquor, has a significant place in Turkish culture as it is inferred in the popular Turkish saying “Bir fincan kahvenin kırk yıl hatırı vardır” (A cup of coffee is remembered forty years).” Turkish coffee, stewed in a special coffee pot (cezve) after the raw coffee beans are roasted and milled, tastes the more delicious the foamier it is prepared.

The Turkish cuisine, which has become the dominant cuisine of the whole Anatolian region by now continues to evolve with the contributions of expert cooks and new techniques, and is offered at a variety of places varying from the most luxurious restaurants to the most modest diners.

Turkish cuisine  Vikipedi

Turkish cuisine (Turkish: Türk mutfağı) is largely the continuation of Ottoman cuisine, which in turn borrowed many elements from Greek, Central Asian, Caucasian, Jewish, Middle Eastern, and Balkan cuisines. Turkish cuisine has in turn influenced those and other neighbouring cuisines, including those of Central and Western Europe. The Ottomans fused various culinary traditions of their realm with influences from Levantine cuisines, along with traditional Turkic elements from Central Asia (such as yogurt and mantı), creating a vast array of specialities—many with strong regional associations.

Turkish cuisine and Iranian cuisine on the other hand have heavy mutual influence on each other, due to geographical proximity, ethnic relations (f.e Azerbaijanis, a Turkic people, are the second largest ethnicity in Iran) many common cultural aspects, shared empires, and conquerings by such as the Achaemenids, Sassanians, Seljuks, Safavids, Afsharids, Ottomans and Qajars.

Turkish cuisine varies across the country. The cooking of Istanbul, Bursa, Izmir, and rest of the Aegean region inherits many elements of Ottoman court cuisine, with a lighter use of spices, a preference for rice over bulgur, koftes and a wider availability of vegetable stews (türlü), eggplant, stuffed dolmas and fish. The cuisine of the Black Sea Region uses fish extensively, especially the Black Sea anchovy (hamsi) and includes maize dishes. The cuisine of the southeast -Urfa, Gaziantep and Adana- is famous for its variety of kebabs, mezes and dough-based desserts such as baklava, şöbiyet, kadayıf and künefe.

Especially in the western parts of Turkey, where olive trees grow abundantly, olive oil is the major type of oil used for cooking. The cuisines of the Aegean, Marmara and Mediterranean regions are rich in vegetables, herbs, and fish. Central Anatolia has many famous specialties, such as keşkek, mantı (especially from Kayseri) and gözleme.

A specialty’s name sometimes includes that of a city or region, either in or outside of Turkey, and may refer to the specific technique or ingredients used in that area. For example, the difference between Urfa kebap and Adana kebap is the thickness of the skewer and the amount of hot pepper that the kebab contains. Urfa kebap is less spicy and thicker than Adana kebap.

Turks survived famines by minimizing the consumption of food. Therefore, in the morning time they consumed only water and bread that would often be dry and stale from being conserved; due to shortages in agricultural harvest. This practice was adopted into Turkish culture and the dish was named Iratchu.

1 Culinary customs
1.1 Breakfast
1.2 Homemade food
1.3 Restaurants
1.4 Summer cuisine
1.5 Key ingredients
1.6 Oils and fats
1.7 Fruit
1.8 Meats
2 Dishes and foods
2.1 Dairy products
2.1.1 Cheeses
2.2 Soups
2.3 Bread
2.4 Pastries
2.5 Pilav and pasta
2.6 Vegetarian dishes
2.6.1 Vegetable dishes
2.7 Egg dishes
2.8 Meze and salads
2.9 Dolma and sarma
2.10 Meat dishes
2.10.1 Kebabs
2.10.2 Fish
2.11 Desserts
3 Beverages
3.1 Alcoholic beverages
3.2 Non-alcoholic beverages
3.3 Related cuisines
4 See also
5 References
6 Bibliography
7 External links