3. Traditional Food


Culinary Culture

Turkish Cuisine is very rich there are a lot of factors for this:

*The variety of products in Asia and Anatolia.

*Interaction with numerous different cultures over a long historical process.

*The new tastes developed in the palace kitchens of the Seljuk and Ottoman Empires.

 Food and Beverages Eaten at Meals

Until late Ottoman times there were generally two meals:

* in late morning

* dinner
Today the main meals are

*breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Food and Beverages Peculiar to Special Days

*Some foods and beverages, peculiar to special days and which have a symbolic meaning although they take much more time to prepare, are part of Turkish cuisine.

*Food peculiar to such special days is prepared communally, known as called “imece.”

At engagement, wedding and circumcision ceremonies, at Ramadan with its deep religious meaning and other religious and seasonal festivals, food is prepared with more attention, more special assortments are served, and tables are specially decorated. Birth, death and wedding meals can be cited as examples.



At weddings, rice, vegetables, beans or garbanzo and fruit juices are served with a main course of meat. In nearly every region, vermicelli and yogurt soups, keskek (pounded wheat with meat), rice and meat are served at wedding meals. Desserts are usually helva, zerde (a gelatinous dessert colored with saffron), rice pudding and baklava.


In addition to these, some other foods are served in funerals. In a funeral house, food is not cooked for 3-7 days (depending on the region), and neighbors bring food instead. The tradition of cooking flour helva when the body is taken from the house and serving food on the 3rd, 7th, 40th and 52nd days after death still continues.

The Turkish cuisine which is a heritage of the Ottoman culture has both affected and has been affected by the Balkan and Middle East cuisines. The Turkish cuisine has got a lot of different food.

Soups (Çorbalar)

   A Turkish meal usually starts with a thin soup. Soups are usually named after their main ingredient, the most common types being lentil, yoghurt, or wheat (often mashed) called  and tarhana soup.

Tarhana Soup (Tarhana Çorbası)


It is a famous Turkish soup. You can have it at every meal, including breakfast. It is made of yoghurt, mint, flour, red pepper, green pepper, tomatoes. If you want, you can put onion on it.




Yoghurt Soup (Yoğurt Çorbası)

Resim2It is a kind of Turkish soup. You can find, a lot of different kinds of yoghurt soup.It is made of rice, yoghurt, chickpea, parsley, and mint. It tastes delicious.





Kebabs & Beefs (Kebap & Etler)

Resim3Most of the meat dishes in Turkish cuisine kebabs, meatballs and juicy meat dishes are in the class.





Döner (Döner)

Resim4Döner is a kind of Turkish kebab. You can fry it by putting the fat, meat and spices on a stick. Döner meat can be eaten in a sandwich (pita or bread) but also with rice. Döner is an eating out Turkish food. You can have it in fast food restaurants.





Cağ Kebab (Cağ Kebap)

Resim5Cağ kebab, is a rotating kind of kebab,originating in  Erzurum, Turkey. Cağ Kebab is probably by the way is the ancestor of the Döner as we know it.

History: Ottoman Travel books of the 18th century, cite a kebab cooked on wood fire consisting of horizontal stack of meat, known as “Cağ Kebab”.


Skewer Kebab (Şiş Kebap)

Resim6Şiş Kebap (şiş, pronounced “shish”, means “skewer” in English) consists of marinated chicken or lamb meat. Meat on skewers are grilled over an open fire.






Çiğ Köfte

Resim7    It is a kind of Turkish kebab which is kneaded and mixed meat, tomatoe paste, parsley and spices.

History: According to lore, çiğ köfte was invented in Urfa at the time of prophet Abraham. When Nimrod collected all firewood in Urfa in order to build a monumental execution pyre, the wife of a hunter had to prepare venison raw. She mixed the meat with bulgur, herbs and spices and crushed the mixture with stone implements until it was palatable.












VegetableDishes (Sebze Yemekleri)

Resim10  Turkish cuisine in a great variety of vegetable dishes is a kitchen with dolma and sarma, meat and vegetable dishes, fried vegetables and countless varieties of olive oil are available.





StuffedFood (Dolma)

Resim11  Dolma has a specialplace in Turkishcuisine. It can be eateneither as a meze or a main dish. It can be cookedeither as a vegetabledishormeatdish. If a meatmixture is put in, it is usuallyserved hot withyoghurtandspicessuch as oreganoandredpepperpowderwithoil.


GrapeLeafRollswithOliveOil (Zeytinyağlı Yaprak Dolması)

Resim12  Zeytinyağlı dolma (dolma with oliveoil) is the dolma made with vineleaves cooked with oliveoil and stuffed with a rice-spicemixture. Such a typedoes not contain meat, is served cold and alsoreferredto as sarma, which means “wrapping” in Turkish.









Pastries (Hamur İşleri)



Lahmacun, Su Böreği, Mantı and pies are among the most popular of Turkish cuisine.







Resim14  It is a famousTurkishfoodtoo. It is madebyputtingmeat, pepper, parsleyandspices on a circledough.




Su Böreği

Resim15It is also a veryfamousTurkishfood. It is made of dough, which is put in boiledwaterfor a fewseconds, egg, cheeseormeat. Oldwomenusually do it excellently.





Resim16  Mantı is a kind of Turkish meal which is boiled in water. You can put smallpieces of meat in dough. You can serve it byputting (dropping) yoghurt, tomatopaste, andbutter. Mantı tastesdelicious





Mezes & Salads (Mezeler & Salatalar)

Resim17  Meze is a selection of foodserved as theappetizercoursewithorwithoutdrinks. Some of them can be served as a main course as well.





Shepherd’s Salad (Çoban Salatası)

Resim19  It is one of the most popular salads in Turkey.   It is considered by many as light, refreshing and easy to make and is especially popular during summer.

It is a combination of finely chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, green peppers and flat-leaf parsley.The dressing consists of a simple mix of lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil and salt.

Piyaz (Piyaz)

Piyaz is a kind of Turkishsalador meze that is madefromanykind of drybeanswith hard-boiledeggandvegetables. Commonadditionalingredientsincludeonion, parsleyandsumac. In Antalya province of Turkey it is repareddifferentlyfromotherregionswithotheringredientslikesesameoil. DuringtheOttomanperiod, piyaz wasalsomadefromartichoke, pea, chickpea, broadbeanandpotato, whichwasintroducedtoTurkey in thelastquarter of the 19th century.

Cacık (Cacık)

Resimmmm3Cacık is a Turkish dish of seasoned, diluted yoghurt, eaten throughout the former Ottoman world.Cacık is made of yogurt, salt, olive oil, crushed garlic, chopped cucumber, dill, mint, and lime juice, diluted with water to a low consistency, and garnished with sumac. Among these ingredients, olive oil, lime juice, and sumac are optional. Dill and mint (fresh or dried) may be used alternately. Cacık, when consumed as a meze, is prepared without water but follows the same recipe.






Drinks (İçecekler)


At breakfast and all day long Turkish people drink black tea. Tea is made with two teapots in Turkey. Turkishcoffee, Turkishteaand Ayran arethemost popular drinks in Turkey.




TurkishCoffee (Türk Kahvesi)

Resim24  Turkishcoffee is a world-knowncoffeewhich can be servedsweetor bitter.   Turkishcoffee, it is different in aroma andtastefromtheclassicalcoffee. It is thefirst ( only ) coffeewhich is servedwithcoffeeground.






TurkishTea (Türk Çayı)

Resim1  Turkishtea is a type of teathat is popular mainly in theTurkish-speakingcountries. InTurkey, Turkishteatendsto be more popular thanTurkishcoffeeamongtheyoungergeneration.







Ayran (Ayran)

Resim26  Ayran (saltyyoghurtdrink) is themostcommoncoldbeverage, whichmayaccompanyalmostalldishes in Turkey. Ayran is a mixture of yoghurt, water, and sometimes salt. It is thought to have originated as a way of preserving yogurt by adding salt.









Desserts (Tatlılar)


One of the world-renowned desserts of Turkish cuisine is baklava. Turkishcuisine has a range of baklava-likedessertswhichincludes Sütlaç, TurkishDelight.

Turkish Baklava (Baklava)

Resim28It is made of walnuts, Antep nuts, almondorhazelnut. Ittastesdelicious. Baklava is prepared on large trays and cut into a variety of shapes.







Resim29  Sütlaç is the most famous milky dessert in Turkish cuisine. It is made of, milk, riceandsugar. You can serve it puttingcinnamon on it.





TurkishDelight (Lokum)

Resim30  Turkishdelight is one of themostfamousdesserts in theworld. It is made of water, sugar, starchandsalts of lemon. Turkishpeopleusuallyserve it totheirvisitors.




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