Modern Turkish food is the perfect and refined form of Ottoman cuisine. Over time, Turkish food absorbed flavors of Mediterranean regions, Central Asia, Middle East, Eastern Europe, Georgia, and Asia Minor. Turkish food evolved into a combination of classical and modern food styles. This article will review several Turkish foods you can enjoy on your next visit to the current travelers’ host-spot, Turkey.
Turkish cuisine is diverse nationwide. The cooking style and flavors of Istanbul, Izmir, Bursa, and Asia Minor are different from regions near the Black sea. Names of culinary specialties also reflect the style and site of food origin. Turkish food uses modern spices, rice, maize, Black sea anchovy, and many more. Hence, Turkish cuisine reflects the diversity that is more than just Donars, Kebabs, and Koftas.
The explosion of Turkish culture and flavor has become the talk of the town. In addition to enjoying the best foods of Pakistan, travelers are flocking to visit the beautiful cities of Istanbul, Ankara, and Izmir. Everyone wants to dive into not-so-spicy but extra meaty Turkish food. Let’s see what is more to Turkish food besides meaty skewers and kebab. In this article, we have discussed various Turkish delicacies that have made Turkish food talk of the town.
Famous Turkish Bread
Image of Turkish Bread from Google
Turkish cuisine is incomplete without mentioning fluffy freshly-baked bread that is easily available throughout the country. Ekmek is the Turkish word for Turkish bread that is fluffy and very easy to make. Turkish bread is flat and round like pit bread. It is sliced and cut to eat with Turkish food such as Humus. It is enjoyed not only during breakfast but also with savory dishes during other meals.
Preparing Turkish bread at home is not a difficult task because the ingredients are simple and readily available. Basic ingredients to prepare Turkish bread include flour, warm milk, warm water, salt, oil. You cal also add some chopped parsley and chili flakes to add extra flavor. You can follow the link for the complete recipe and extra details on how to prepare Turkish bread. All you need to cook simple Turkish bread is a heated pan, but there is a variety of baked pieces of bread that you can enjoy as well.
Types of Turkish Bread
Several types of Turkish bread are essential to Turkish food that include Pide Ekmek, Etli Ekmek, Mısır Ekmeği, Pita Bread, Simit, Yufka, Bazlama, and Gozleme. The diversity of Turkish food is truly depicted in different types of Turkish bread. For instance, the savory Turkish bread Mısır ekmeği is mainly eaten in the regions near the black sea. The texture of the cornbread is dry and hard.
Ramazan Pidesi is another type of traditional Turkish bread, mainly eaten in Ramazan. The texture is of crisscross pattern with dimples. The round-shaped flatbread is topped with sesame seeds, and people enjoy it in Ramazan. Pita bread is another common staple food of eastern cuisine. Bazlama is another Turkish flatbread, baked in outdoor ovens and eaten with many Turkish savory dishes.
Lastly, Simit, Circular Turkis bread, on the contrary, has origin in Instanbul. Simit is eaten during breakfast with a yogurt drink or tea and is a favorite Turkish food. Etli emik, another delicious Turkish food, has its origin in Konya. This Turk delight means bread and meat. So, whether it’s a specific meal or any particular event, bread is the constant component of Turkish food. Turkish people also enjoy Turkish delights like kebabs and koftas with different types of Turkish bread.
Turkish Breakfast: Best Turkish Food to Start Your Day
Like in any other culture or country, Turkish breakfast is a significant meal to start the day. Discussion on Turkish food is incomplete without mentioning the classical Turkish breakfast. Kahvalti, Turkish Breakfast, resembles a small buffet full of healthy, fresh, and nutritious Turkish delicacies.
The vibrant and nutrients full vegetables and fruits, freshly-baked bread, protein-rich eggs and cheese, and warm black tea are essential to Turkish food at Breakfast Time. The fresh cucumber, vitamin-rich green and black olives, eggs, sauces and dips, fresh tomatoes, and cheese are part of daily Turkish breakfast.
Bear in mind that Turkish people enjoy diversity in all types of Turkish foods. For instance, they eat various cheeses such as Feta Cheese (Beyaz Peyniri), hard cheese made of unpasteurized milk kasseri, Ior, civil peyniri, and more. Ior is a Turkish version of cottage cheese made of uncured goat milk. Turkish people like to have various cheese samples because one type is not enough to give a perfect finish to the breakfast table.
The Turkish Food variety is visible in the Turkish bread as well. Sesame-seed covered bagels or Simit is among the most common Turkish bread in the country. It is because the bread is cheap as it costs only a few lira in Turkey. Similar to Simit, traditional Turkish food Pide is also excessively available during breakfast times. It is fluffy, unlike Simit, but delicious and perfect for breakfast. You can read about other Turkish bread types in the previous section.
Spreads and Jams
You can enjoy Turkish bread with either jam or spreads. Turkish people are all for hazelnut spreads and traditionally prepared jams of apricots, cheery, fig, and bergamot jams. Turkish grandmothers spend a considerable amount of time throughout the year to preparer traditional jams. They choose perfect fruits-produce for the canning and preservation process. Later, the whole family enjoys tasty homemade jams during breakfast times.
Eggs and Meat
Eggs and meat are also essential to Turkish Food at Breakfast time. Turkish people enjoy Turkish bread with Susuklu Yumurta that literally means eggs and sausages. Dip your bread piece in the oily remains of Susuklu yumutra and enjoy the heavenly flavors. However, if vegetarian, you can enjoy a vegan alternative, menemen, as well.
Lastly, Drinks like coffee and black tea are constant in Turkish food across the country. The tea is essentially black, and alcoholic beverages are non-existent in Turkish breakfast. Turkish people do not drink herbal teas in the morning. Such drinks are for bedtime, but you can find them in Turkish Restaurants. Thus, Turkish breakfast is traditional, delish, and full of essential nutrients that you need to start a perfect day.
Turkish Pizza with Crusty Topping
Image of Turkish Pizza From Google
According to the definition, dough, tomato, and cheese are the three main ingredients that makeup pizza. Turkish cuisine is full of flatbread dishes, also known as pizza. Turkish delights such as Turkish Pedi, Lahmacun are among common flatbread savory snacks called a pizza in Turkey. These are among the common street food in the country, and you cannot resist tasting them during your trip to Turkey.
Turkish pizza is different from classical Italian one as the topping is mostly dry and crusty without any sauce. But by all means of culinary definition, it is delicious with heavenly meaty flavors. The pizza base consists of signature flatbread, while the topping is mainly of ground meat of various kinds. In the case of Lahmacun, the flatbread is full of seasoned minced meat of beef or lamb coupled with fresh mint and red onion and crumbled cheese. Finish it with a sprinkle of lemon, and you are good to go.
The crusty Turkish pizza is destined to leave you going for it multiple times. Unlike classical pizza, the crust of Lahmacun is very thin. You will also find small shreds of cheese instead of extra stretchy large sections. Perhaps on your trip to Turkey, you can find the best Lahmacun in Instabul and devour Middle eastern flavors to your heart content. Making Turkish pizza at home is also an easy deal cooking is your hobby.
To prepare Lahmachan, all you need is dough and a well seasoned minced meat of your choice with garlic, onion, tomatoes, and spices. Put thinly sliced onion, tomatoes, cheese and finish it with a great squeeze of lemon. The flavors are rich, and the food is nutritious, with a hint of freshness that you get from added lime.
Cooking flatbreads in tandoors was the early practice in the culinary culture of the Middle East. However, the use of ovens and stoves took over this practice. Food culture evolved, and dishes like Lahmacun also became popular in Turkey in the 20th century. Now, it is easily available in different bakeries throughout Istanbul. Indeed, one cannot forget to try a Turkish snack, Turkish pizza, while on tour to Turkey.
Pide: Turkish Food with fluffy Texture
Photo of Turkish Pide from Google
Pide is oval-shaped flat Turkish bread that is very famous in the country. Pronounced as pee-dae, it is similar to Gozleme, but the dough of pide is bread-like with a fluffy texture. The history of pide is as old as 1850, and its origin is in the small town near the Black sea. Pide also comes in two versions, sealed or flat one covered with sizzling toppings straight from the oven. The delicious Turkish food pide is irresistible to ones who love to costume cheesy, meat-filled delights.
Turks bake pide with a variety of toppings and sell at various food outlets in turkey. The recipe to prepare pide is simple, and ingredients are easily available in the majority of homes. To Prepare Pide dough, you need flour, warm water, salt, olive oil, yeast, and bread flour. The fluffy and airy texture of pride comes from yeast activity. Thus, the base of pide is fluffy and covered with tasty toppings.
This Turkish food is a take on an Italian pizza, particularly the toppings-filled version of Turkish pide. You can also find a variety of ingredients as pide toppings. For instance, ground beef mozzarella and feta cheese with parsley are among added toppings on pide.
The savory Turkish food, Kiymali pide is a famous snack in turkey. It is cooked with vegetables and ground beef fillings. Turkish people prepare pide and bake it with tasty fillings at firin, the local Turkish bakeries. To eat pide, cut the tasty goodness into small and enjoy it with runny eggs. Because pide is an immensely famous Turkish food, you can find it at any bakery or kebab shop in the country. The delicious Turkish food, pide, is perfect for getting authentic Turkish gastronome.
Turkish pide is sometimes confused with Turkish pizza by foreigners, but they are not mistaken. Pizza is an essential fast food, and Pizza outlets like Pizza Hut Pakistan attract crowds daily. Nonetheless, Turkish pide is delicious Turkish food that is enjoyed as a snack and during daily meals. Therefore, this Turkish delicacy is a must-try for travelers and food bloggers.
Syrupy and Sweet Turkish Desserts
Image of Turkish Dessert from Goggle
Just like savory Turkish food, Turkish desserts are equally diverse and full of tasty flavors. Turkish people are also full-on extra sweet, nuts-filled, syrupy, and flavor-rich sweet delights. Food outlets like the trendiest desserts cafes in Lahore have also become a go-to place for dessert lovers. From Helva to famous stretchy Turkish Ice Cream, the list of Turkish desserts is long.
Turkish desserts are normally of three categories: pastries, milk-based, and fruits and vegetables-based. However, you can also find meat base Turkish Chicken Breast Pudding if you can take on food adventures.
Famous Turkish sweets
- Baklava is by far the most famous Turkish food, particularly among international visitors. Essentially, baklawa is moist, crunchy, and sweet goodness that takes some time during preparation. The finally layered phyllo dough is filled with crushed nuts and moistened with a flood of syrup.
- Sutlu nuriye can be your choice if you find baklava too heavy and extra sweet.
- Tulumba tatlisi is another Turkish delight available as street food in the country. It is another syrupy delight that resembles churros but is more moist in texture and sweet in taste.
- Stretchy Turkish Ice cream is another fan favorite of anyone who visits Turkey. This type is different from Turkish Deligh Ice Cream, particularly in terms of texture. The Turkish Ice Cream sellers never cease to display shuffling ice cream from one cone to another, meanwhile leaving kids and adults awed in the process. The chewy and stretchy texture of ice cream comes from salep powder.
- Turkish coffee is perhaps the renowned Turkish delight after Baklawa is Turkish coffee. Unfiltered and rich in flavor, Turkish Coffee with Turkish dessert provides a perfect blend of Turkish flavors.
Other Turkish desserts include Turkish rice pudding, Turkish Ice Cream, Almond Cookies, Shortbread Cookies, Coffee Brownies, Bread Pudding, Helva, Turkish Semolina Cake, Yogurt Cake, Cotton Candy, Turkish Noah’s Art pudding, Fruit Leather, candid Pumpkin, Kunefe, Turkish Delight Spong Cake, Turkish Churros and Lokma. Turkish desserts provide utter satisfaction to your sweet tooth after gorging on a delicious savory Turkish meal.
Delicious Shawarma: Famous Turkish Food
Image of Turkish shawarma from Google
Turkish Shawarma, Doner Kebab, is similar to middle eastern Shish kebab. The meat of kabab is tender, juicy, and full of tasty flavors. Shwarma is not only common in Turkey but also in other Asian countries. To prepare shawarma, multiple layers of meat on a large verticle skewer are roasted slowly in an upscale rotating rotisserie. This technique of cooking is unique and very common in the Middle East and Arabian countries. Chefs slice thin pieces of cooked meat and serve them on flatbread with multiple ingredients and sauces.
The origin of shawarma is from modern-day Turkey, previously called Ottoman Empire. Various Restaurants in Turkey are famous for preparing delicious shawarma. For Instance, Potatoes and Anas Chicken Aksari Branch are famous for selling Best Shawarma in Istanbul. Turkish shawarma can be your go-to meal if you love to consume meat and fatty food. It is a snack food that you can easily grab on your way home from work. Therefore, if planning to travel to Turkey, you must try this meaty Turkish delight.
Benefits of Cooking Turkish Shawarma on Spit
The meat is cooked slowly on a rotating skewer. The freshly cut slices of Turkish shawarma are served on pita bread with pickles, tahini sauce, and fresh vegetables in a sandwich. The method of cooking meat for Turkish shawarma has multiple benefits.
- The rich flavor of kebabs comes from dripping fat during the cooking process.
- Each customer gets a new batch of crusty, thin pieces of meat.
- Turkish shawarma is a wholesome meal full of all essential dietary needs.
Originally, chefs make Turkish shawarma with lamb meat, but now chefs use a variety of meat such as chicken, turkey, and beef. The modification is partly because Turkish shawarma is now available worldwide. For instance, you can pair Grilled-chicken shawarma with Turkish cucumber and tomato salad. The sliced pieces of grilled meat on Turkish flatbread are another option to enjoy Donar kebab. Hence, enjoying the shawarma with authentic Arabian flavors is a must thing to do in Turkey.
Turkish food is famous for its meaty flavors as well as ingredient diversity. In this article, we discussed famous Turkish food, including Turkish Bread, Breakfast, Pizza, Pide, desserts, and Shawarma. Don’t forget to miss any of these Turkish treats on your next visit to Turkey. Give it a read, and let us know about any recommendations in the comments below.