Cuisine as delightfully varied as its parent country.
Turkey is a near-hedonistic haven for those who love their food and especially for those who prize variety in their flavours.
Walking through the streets of Turkish towns and the capital Istanbul is one of the best ways to immerse yourself in the country’s cuisine as the heady mix of mouth-watering sights and smells assail you.
What follows is a selection of some of the “must-try” dishes that are bound to tempt you in Turkey. Whatever your palette, whatever you favour for your flavour, there is bound to be one if not many dishes that appeal to your culinary tastes.
Whether on a quick Istanbul city break or lengthy all inclusive holidays to Turkey, you’ll never want for a memorable meal, simply follow your nose!
Meze, a word that Turkey shares with Greece, is not a food but rather the style of the meal. With lots of smaller dishes to taste, the food quickly piles up as you are surrounded by a mountain of miniature dishes which give off a wonderful mix of heady aromas that you’ll want to dive right into.
An iconic taste of Turkey if ever there was one. However, forget the idea of a greasy, sodden pile of misshapen meat lumps that you might encounter being consumed on a drunken night out in less salubrious areas of the UK. In Turkey, kebabs are mostly of lean, grilled meat (usually lamb) packed with flavour and served with the right amount of sauce to complement it
Borek is an absolute staple of the Turkish diet and can be found anywhere regardless of your dining budget or style. Consisting of flaky pastry stuffed with various meats, spinach and/or cheeses, Borek is the perfect accompaniment to any meze and also by itself.
Akin to stuffed ravioli, Manti pack in all the flavour of whichever kind of meat the chef chooses, along with some heavenly yogurt sauce.
The Turkish people are as diligent with making their vegetables tasty as they are with their meat dishes. For a vegetarian, holidays to Turkey are a dream come true as they cater superbly well to your tastes with dishes such as the baked eggplant depicted above. While nutloaf can be lovely, have no fear of running out of vegetarian dishes to delight and challenge your tastebuds. We especially recommend trying fried haloumi cheese, stuffed aubergines, vegetarian Musakka and Turkish sweet bread.
Swordfish and Seafood
While Turkey’s shores provide a wondrous range of shellfish and seafood to make the coastal towns the haven of fish lovers, swordfish stands out as being a real delight in Turkish cuisine. Not only can this exotic fish look impressive on the plate, it also can be enjoyed more cheaply than most other regions of the world with access to it.
How about a Turkish take on pizza? Take that infallible flatbread with a tomato base style from Italy and add a little Turkish influence with minced lamb, yogurt and coriander for a pizza you’ll never forget. Served quickly and cheaply by street vendors across the country, Lahmacun is an excellent lunchtime meal or snack to have on the go.
For those with a sweet tooth, Turkish cuisine delivers! The syrupy, sugary pastry treats of Turkey will not do your holiday weight any favours, but you’ll agree that the price is worth it once you have a taste.
Baklava-making is an art form and you’ll find countless varieties across the country with their own regional influences and styles. Wherever you go on your Turkey holidays though, don’t come back until you’ve tried some!
Another sweet syrupy treat, Tulumba is a fried dough dessert that is often served with cream and powdered pistachios. Just the thing to round off a gastronomic parade of delicious dishes.
So whatever your tastes, take a chance on Turkey to guide you into culinary bliss.