Turkish food is definitely one of the highlights that you will remember long after your visit to this amazing country. From delicious local treats, to the smells of the street food, these are our top foods you must try when on tour with us next Summer.
Don’t leave Turkey without trying one of the most popular (and delicious) meat dishes in the Northwest. A play on the traditional Döner kebab, this dish consists of thinly sliced lamb served with a warm tomato sauce over pieces of traditional bread. Topped off with generous helpings of yogurt and butter, you’ll be left licking your plate clean.
Don’t be fooled by the pink, sugary imitations you may have sampled in the past – Turkish Delight in Turkey (or Lokum, as the locals call it) is like nothing you’ve ever tried before. Consisting of mouth-watering combinations of chopped dates, pistachios, walnuts or hazelnuts, you will find this treat comes in a range of colourful flavours to suit your tastebuds.
TURKISH RAVIOLI (MANTI)
Pasta-lovers, prepare yourselves. Turkey has its own version of Ravioli! Little handmade dumplings are filled with ground lamb or beef, and then topped with a creamy yogurt sauce. Manti takes a lot of time to prepare, but once you’ve tasted a bite, you’ll see that the hard work pays off.
Rest assured, you probably won’t leave Turkey without being served Mezze, which is a small selection of dishes commonly served with drinks or before a meal. Turkish Mezze often consists of yogurt with herbs, hummus, rice-stuffed vine leaves (dolmas), meatballs (kofte), eggplant salad, white cheese and of course, delicious, warm pide. Could there be a better way to start a meal?
It’s sweet, it’s rich, it’s almost too good to be true. Layers of flaky pastry are complemented by finely chopped nuts and held together by syrupy goodness. This dessert originates from the Ottoman Empire, and can now be found on virtually every street corner in Turkey. Order one for dessert in a restaurant or grab one on the go. No matter which way you eat it, it still tastes scrumptious. It’s a classic, and definitely one of the foods you must try in Turkey.
An absolute classic meal, you’ll find this on the menu at most restaurants. Chicken, beef or lamb is grilled and served on a skewer alongside sides such as rice, salad and fries. It may be simple, but it’s still a tasty meal.
Apple Tea is possibly the most delightful tea that will ever tickle your tastebuds. Luckily for you, there is no shortage of this warm, sweet nectar of the Gods. You will find it in virtually every café, restaurant and house you go to. Tea (or çay) is a very big part of Turkish hospitality. You will find that even shop owners sit down for a cup of tea with their customers. Now there’s a good sales technique.
Possibly one of the easiest fast foods to find in Turkey, Gözleme is the perfect snack to eat on the go. Similar to a crepe, this savoury Turkish flatbread is made from hand-rolled dough and is filled with various toppings, such as cheese, meat, vegetables or potatoes. It’s then sealed and cooked over a griddle. Try one of the cheese and spinach variations – you won’t regret it. For sure one of the foods you must try in Turkey.
KARNIYARIK (Stuffed Eggplant)
Karniyarik is a big, warm eggplant stuffed with ground meat, onion, black pepper, tomatoes and parsley. Generally accompanied by Pilaf, this dish is hearty, full of flavour, and perfect for a filling meal.
CORN ON THE COB
You can’t walk far in Istanbul without seeing the billowing smoke of a roadside vendor and the scent of freshly cooked corn. A street food classic, these vendors really know how to perfectly grill corn on the cob. It’s a perfect snack to have on-the-go. Just remember your toothpick!
Another very popular street food, Simit lies somewhere between a pretzel and a bagel. The cheapest snack you’ll find on the streets, this circular bread is typically encrusted with sesame seeds and can be eaten plain or with preserves like jam, cream cheese or, for an extra special treat, Nutella.
Pizza-lovers, Turkey has got you sorted. Along with the classic Turkish Pide, Etli Ekmek is another pizza-like dish which originated from a town called Konya. An extremely long, thin piece of flat bread, normally over a meter in size, is topped with meat and cheese and then cut into smaller pieces. Yum.
DONDURMA (Turkish Ice cream)
It may look like normal ice cream, and it may even taste like normal ice cream, but Dondurma has a texture unlike any other ice cream in the world. The ingredients used make it resistant to melting and impart a sort of chewiness to the consistency. If these unique qualities don’t convince you to give it a try, then perhaps the sellers will lure you in. Dondurma vendors are known for putting on spectacular shows, spinning around giant masses of ice cream on long paddles and playfully flipping cones upside down.
Hungry for more? Get on board our Turquoise Delight sailing tour and let our local chef take you on a Turkish food journey.