Turkey’s geographical location is a meeting point for different cultures of food, so the question is, what is the food like in Turkey? I can tell you that tasting Turkish food is a rare and unforgettable experience. What is typical Turkish food? One of the most important is a Turkish breakfast.
This cuisine is also known as Ottoman cuisine or Palace cuisine and is known as one of the world’s most prosperous. The Balkan, Anatolian, Syrian and Caucasian cuisines have primarily influenced it. Sadly, most of the recipes did not survive, as the cooks kept them as secrets. So today, what we know is just a limited variety. It is recognised that meat and sweets were dominant in particular. Starters were not typical, and tomatoes were added much later, therefore tomatoes were not used in the Ottoman cuisine.
Izmir and the Aegean Coast
Greek food is similar to Turkish food, most likely due to Izmir and coastal cuisine. Most terms, such as dolmadakia (GR)-dolma (TR), keftedes (GR)-kofte (TR), moussaka (GR) – musakka (TR), etc., can be found in both languages, and they are quite close.
It is traditional to start with a selection of cold dishes, called meze, for Aegean cuisine. There are small plates of yogurt, fish, cauliflower, eggplant, and much more. You wouldn’t pick your meze from a menu in a traditional restaurant. The waiter will bring a large tray to your table with a selection of mezze, or you’d go with the waiter to the glass fridge and tell him there. In Aegean cuisine, vegetables are essential as well. Mediterranean Turkey coastline has delicious cuisine also.
Another essential food for the Aegean is fish. Grilled fish, in particular, is widespread. Choosing your fish is usual, not from the card, but going with the waiter to the glass fridge. There, he would weigh the fish, tell you the price, and ask you how they were supposed to prepare it.
Black Sea area
Although the Black Sea cuisine consists not only of fish, anchovy is typical for this region. Hamsili pilav (anchovy rice), Hamsili ekmek (anchovy bread), Hamsi tava (anchovy bread), Hamsi bugulama (anchovy stew), Hamsi koftesi (anchovy stew), and Hamsi tatlisii (anchovy stew) should be tried (anchovy dessert with anchovy, dough, oranges, pistachio, and syrup).
Gaziantep is situated in Turkey’s south-east. It has its distinctive cuisine inspired by its years of history and is a favourite gourmet venue. Meanwhile, many dishes that should not be skipped in Turkish restaurants originate from here. Gaziantep was added to the UNESCO Innovative Cities Network in 2004 due to its gastronomical significance.
Best street food in Turkey
Grilled offal is the primary ingredient in kokoreç. It is sliced, diced, combined with tomatoes, other vegetables, and spices, and eaten with bread on the inside.
Dolma Midye (Stuffed Mussels)
This is a popular snack late at night. For midye dolma, there are two choices: you can order as much as you want, but that’s not the typical way to eat them.
Simit, similar to a German bagel, is a crusted bread covered with sesame seeds, except the Turkish simit is better. You can eat it alone or with tomatoes and cheese. In addition to your simit, a cup of coffee or tea is a perfect match.
This is one of the most famous street food outlets. It’s got a unique flavour and it blends well with Ayran.
Tatlısı Halka and Lokma
These two have a doughnut base similar to the others and are served with special syrup. They are both very delicious, and you’ve got to try them. The tradition surrounding lokma is that Turkish people hand it out after special occasions, including birth and death.
Corn is probably the favourite street food for kids. Two types exist: grilled or boiled. Put on some salt and enjoy it!
The scent of chestnuts roasting over charcoal would appeal to you when walking on the streets of Istanbul on cold winter days. Just follow the smell of hot chestnuts and enjoy them.
It’s traditional Turkish cooking, and if you’re hungry, it’s a filling choice. On the streets of Istanbul, many hawkers sell rice with chickpeas or chicken. I suggest getting your rice with some chicken.
The Döner (Kebab)
What do you prefer chicken or other meat? Döners, not only in Istanbul but also in other European countries, are common. Many Turks open döner shops in overseas countries, making them world-famous. It is served on the streets as a wrap.
Kumpir is made of potatoes that have been cooked. Ingredients, such as bacon, chicken, peas, maize, olives, and sauces, are added to the potato after baking.