Turkish Cuisine

Istanbul Ortakoy

Breakfast; the Turks enjoy a variety of local produce at breakfast. You can expect to be served a platter of feta cheese, tomatoes, cucumber and olives as well as jam, honey, butter, fresh baked bread and tea.

Mezes; most Turkish meals start with mezes (appetizers). There are a huge variety of tasty mezes. Popular types include boreks - savory pastries filled with ground meat, spinach or cheese, dolmas - vine leaves, vegetables or mussels stuffed with a savory mixture and purees of fish roe, chick peas, beans or smoked eggplant.

Kebabs; may be meat or chicken. Most popular ones are Doner Kebab (sliced roast meat), Sis Kebab (cubes of meat grilled on a skewer) and Iskender (Doner meat on bread with a rich tomato and
yogourt sauce).

Karniyarik; is a dish of eggplant, split open and stuffed with minced lamb, tomatoes and currants.

Lahmacun; Turkish style pizza. The thin dough is spread with a spicy mixture of ground lamb, onion and tomatoes. It is usually served with fresh parsley and lemon juice.

Kofte; although there are a number of different kinds, the most popular are spicy lamb meatballs served with rice and grilled vegetables.

Fish; a variety of fish dishes can be found in Istanbul and coastal areas. In most cases fish such as Bonito, Turbot and Sea Bass are served grilled. Along the Black Sea coast anchovies are very plentiful and are used in a number of dishes including the popular Hamsi Pilavi, a mixture of anchovies and rice.

Soup; a popular snack at any time of day. A variety of tasty soups are served on street corners and restaurants. Some of the most popular ones are Yayla (yogourt and rice) Ezo gelin (red lentils, bulgur, rice, tomato paste, hot pepper and mint) Iskembe (tripe) famous as a hangover cure!

Yogourt; made from cow, sheep or goat's milk, is very popular and delicious. The word yogourt is derived from the Turkish word "yogort." Try yogourt as a drink (ayran) a side dish or a simple snack. Kanlica, a suburb of Istanbul is famous for it's yogourt served with a sprinkling of icing sugar.

Sweets; popular ones are, Baklava made with walnuts or pistachio, Firinda Sutlac a baked rice pudding and Asure a combination of dried fruit and beans.