The peculiarity of Turkish cuisine is that it is impossible to single out one dominant dish in it, such as pasta in Italy or sauces in France – the national Turkish cuisine is distinguished precisely by the variety and uniqueness of the menu. According to the richness and taste of Turkish cuisine is rightfully among the top three cuisines of the world, after the French and Chinese. It is famous for its antiquity, and its diversity is due to the traditions of the food culture of the great Empire, whose borders began at the walls of Vienna and ended on the Arabian Peninsula. As a result of mixing with other nations of the region, that amazing combination of dishes and recipes that Turkish cuisine is famous for these days was formed.
In the Ottoman Empire, food was always raised to a cult. In the 17th century Istanbul palace there were about 13 thousand cooks at the same time, and each of them specialized in cooking only one dish. 10 thousand people dined in the palace every day, and the city nobility received a basket of food as a gift from the palace as a sign of its special location.
Breakfast in Turkey is considered one of the important meals, because Turkish families mostly have breakfast together. A typical Turkish breakfast includes cheese (white cheese, regular, etc.), butter, olives, eggs, tomatoes, cucumbers, green peppers, honey, jam, fresh bread and pastries. Simit – bagel, richly sprinkled with sesame and poacha – bun are very popular for breakfast.
Turks are great snack lovers – meze, including salads, sheep cheese, beans, rice in grape leaves, stuffed tomatoes, peppers, olives, etc. When cooking salads, olive oil, lemon, or table vinegar and salt are used.
At the very beginning of any Turkish meal, Turkish soup (chorba) is served. There are four main methods of cooking Turkish soup: chicken or meat broth (with noodles, rice, vegetables, beans, yogurt), seasoned with eggs or lemon juice, tomato and mashed soups with butter, and finally, Turkish Jajik soup – an analogue of our Russian okroshka, made from cold yoghurt and cucumbers (this dish is sometimes referred to as meze).
The most ancient meat dish of Turkish cuisine is kebab. Moreover, the Turks distinguish between many variants of this simple, at first glance, dishes, combining them with a single name. Shish-kebab, for example, is nothing more than the usual kebab on a skewer, “doner kebab” – a meat dish that is strung on a spit, slowly rotating in front of a vertical grill. There are literally dozens of recipes, and in each region they will offer their own, “the only correct” option. But not only kebabs known Turkish meat table. In Turkey, kofte is usually cooked, a common dish of meat rolled in a meat grinder.
Plov in Turkish cuisine takes the same place as potatoes in Europe. Its main ingredient is rice or coarse wheat (bulgur). Most often rice pilaf is consumed without seasoning. However, there are other varieties of this popular dish: with onions, tomatoes, pistachios, raisins, dried fruits, greens, meat or chicken. Bulgur pilau is cooked with onion, tomato or yoghurt.
Vegetables are also very widely used in Turkish cuisine. Stuffed dishes are called dolma, and stewed with other vegetables, slices of meat or minced meat are called gyuvech. Among vegetables, a special place belongs to eggplants and legumes. Moreover, many vegetable dishes can be used both hot and cold, as with sauce, and in “pure form”, which gives a huge variety of combinations.
Bread is an integral part of any meal, especially Turkish cuisine. Bread must be fresh. Plain Ekmek white bread, simple pita bread, wholemeal loaves, rye bread, gozleme is a traditional cheese cake, as well as a whole family of various puff pastry products called berek. Thin tortillas on the water with the addition of salt – the main ingredients of the national puff cakes, which differ in shape, method of preparation and fillings.
Turkish sweets are widely known throughout the world. Dessert in Turkish cuisine can be divided into three groups: flour dishes with sherbet, dairy dishes and fruit dishes. Sherbet is made from a mixture of sugar, water and lemon juice. One of the most widespread types of dessert is pudding, which is made from thin layers of rolled dough stuffed with pistachios, hazelnuts or walnuts.
Turks traditionally serve “ayran” (prepared from yoghurt) for many dishes. Traditionally, Turkey is considered the “country of coffee”. However, at the moment the Turks themselves give a clear preference for tea. Tea Turks usually drink black and strong enough, pouring it into small cups, shaped like a tulip. This is a real national drink and the main local communication tool – after the first minutes of communication with the guest, he will certainly be offered to try tea. Tea is not brewed, and boiled in a special apparatus.