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One of the most exciting aspects of visiting Turkey isn’t the history, hospitality or the selection of unique local items, it is being able to try the multitude of foods, flavours and delights which Turkey has in abundance. Fill your cheap holidays to Turkey with as many scummy treats as possible and be sure to give the below foods a whirl…
Must-try local delicacies
Who knew tomato and butter-topped beef served in thin slices could taste so good! Iskender kebabs are also made with lamb slices if preferred, and both are served with yoghurt and freshly sliced bread… yum.
Lovers of aubergines, feast your eyes on the Karniyarik. By simply slicing an aubergine and stuffing with peppers, tomatoes, sliced onions, garlic and mince you get the majestic flavoursome starter that is the Karniyarik!
Think about layering lasagne with pasta sheets, now think about that again but with super-thin pastry and you have the Börek. It sounds crazy but it actually works and with a huge variety of combinations to try (including meat, potatoes, cheeses and spinach) it is hard to know where to start but you’ll enjoy it!
Getting creative with vegetables
A basic addition to any Turkish vegetable dish is olive oil so make sure you’re ready for it. The Turks are massive fans of roasted veg and the majority of dishes involve stuffing a vegetable (i.e. bell pepper or aubergine) with more vegetables or minced meat before baking it for around 20 minutes. What you are left with is an ultra-juicy, mega-tasty “Dolma” that you will be dying to try when you get home and the good thing is they’re easy to make at home, you can get the recipe from loads of websites such as SBS.
A staple part of the Turkish mealtime is a five-course meal; the vegetable dish is slotted third after a soup starter and meat main course, and then followed by a dessert and selection of fruit.
Nibbles & spirits
In Turkey, a special occasion is seen as the perfect time to get out the “meze” which is similar to Spanish tapas and hors d’oeuvres. Alongside the nibbles is a tumbler of “raki” which is an aniseed-tasting alcoholic beverage served neat or with water.
Mini-dishes usually comprise of greek feta, honeydew melon and sliced bread plus regional treats of dried mackerel, yoghurt, fried or roasted vegetables, cubes of börek, seafood specialties and multiple salad varieties.
Four seas food
Why eat the fish and seafood from one sea when you can taste the produce of four seas? The Turkish coastline is the culmination of the Aagean, Mediterranean, Marmara and Black Sea and the coastal residents are all professional fishmongers who know how best to serve their fish. Each fish has an accompanying vegetable which complements its taste so when you visit be sure to check with the locals so you don’t end up eating bonito with lettuce and horrifying them!