[Disclaimer: This is just an overview and there is no claim to completeness]
Today´s Turkish cuisine has a long history of developement: From the nomadic cook traditions of the Turkic peoples to a melting pot of Indian, Persian, Arabic and Kaucasian influences it offers a huge variety of specialities, which show similarities to the Middle Eastern and the Balkan cusines.
As you may know, Turkey is not a small country and so the food landscape varies next to other factors like dialacts and cultural traditons which define a specific region.
The name of a speciality includes the name of the city or region and refers to a certain technique or ingredient in that area.
In the Agean region including Istanbul, Bursa and Izmir, a lighter use of spices, the preference of rice over bulgur, a wider availability of vegetable stews and stuffed Dolma dominate the food landscape.
An extensive use of fish defines the Black Sea region, while in the Southeast there is a wider variety of kebabs, mezes (appetizers) and dough-based desserts like Baklava and Künefe.
The most important meal of the day! It is called kahvaltı in Turkish and it tends to be rich: Typical components are cheese, olives, eggs, tomato, cucumber, sucuk („garlic-sausage“) and simit, just to name a few.
A proudly cherished speciality is Menenmen: Tomato, peppers, eggs and spices are stirred and cooked gently. „Bauernfrühstück“(farmer´s breakfast) is a convinient term in German, which could be a suitable classification for Menemen.
A well- or maybe the best – known dish is called Kebab, which experiences variation in terms of serving and seasoning. While in Germany the famous Döner Kebab is served with flatbread, salad and sauces as kind of fast food for „to-go“, it is used to be served with rice and salad.
To contribute to general information, there are a lots of more main dishes, which deserve recognition, such as Köfte, meatballs made of minced meat, bread-egg and a range of spices; or Börek, the general name for salty poastries made with Yufka (a thicker version of phyllo dough), filled with meat or cheese and spinach for example.
Lastly, to explain this provoking titel, Pide is a slightley leaved flatbread baked from wheat flour, which can be covered with fillings like sucuk, cheese, egg, etc.
I know you, I got you: Vegeterian options are definitely Dolma (vine leaves or other vegetables stuffed with rice), Mercimek Köfte (Köfte made out of red lentils) and Bulgur Pilavi (Bulgur is the thicker cousine of Couscous)
Finally, the cream of the crop: People with a sweet tooth are going to have a good time in Turkey, because fresh Baklava is going to be served. Those sweet and rich pastries made out of layers of phyllo filled and covered with chopped nuts, sweetened amd held together with syrup are not only putting you in the risk of developing Diabetes but also spoil your taste buds with its astronomic flavour (Am I a fan? Yes. Am I basic? Hell yeah!)
Lokum, also known as Turkish Delight, is a confection based on a gel of starch and sugar. It is not rarley filled with chopped pistachios, walnuts or dates and is flavoured with rose water. It is a must-try.
The aim of this article was to make you hungry, so we hope we succeeded.
The next one is going to show off German delicaties, so stay tuned.