© Christina Holmes
Imagine meat-stuffed miniature raviolis! That’s what Mantı is: boiled or fried beef/lamb dumplings accompanied by a various range of spices. It is the Turkish version of Italian dishes that you will definitely find pleasing to your taste buds. The spiced ground meat will just melt in your mouth and the garlic tomato sauce just tastes so good with the raviolis. It is a traditional Turksih dish that is made in every household with love.
If Italians have got meatballs, Turks have got kofte. The Turkish version of meatballs, köfte are balls or patties made of lightly cooked ground beef or lamb. It is often sold in wraps with salad and some pita bread. You can even have a Turkish vegetarian food made with chickpeas and vegetables. Kofte is an important part of every Turkish household. So, you will find it at every street deli and house.
Flat and crispy, Lahmacun is like a pizza served with a topping of minced meat, salad and lemon juice on bread and can be wrapped, folded in half, or pulled apart to eat. The Turkish counterpart of pizza is full of flavors. The minced lamb and Mediterranean spices doing a party in your mouth. It is a famous Turkey street food that you will find all over the country. So, you ought to try this on your next trip to Turkey.
Less seen on a restaurant menu, Menemen can be a quick breakfast item of scrambled eggs cooked in sautéed vegetables. If you want to taste how Turkish like their eggs, Menemen is the answer. It is basically scrambled eggs cooked softly with onions, peppers, paprika, and oregano. It is similar to Shakshouka the only difference being that eggs in this dish are beaten.
If you like subs and sandwiches, you are definitely going to love döners. Try kebab sandwich prepared with slow-cooked chicken, lamb, or beef meat served with vegetables, spices, and garlic yogurt. It is goodness and fresh flavors packed inside the pita bread. Try it with hummus or traditional Turkey dips to elevate the taste. The meat is cooked on a vertical rotisserie and is full of flavors. The sliced shavings are filled inside the doner stacked along with fresh veggies and dressing. Turkish fast food is generally healthy and salubrious. So, you won’t feel guilty of gorging on doners.
This dish is considered to be one of the best appetizers in Turkish cuisine. If you’re visiting a restaurant that serves fish, then this is amongst the best starters to begin with. Turkish mezes are renowned all across the world and are admired for their taste. They don’t feel heavy on your stomach so you can ask for more than one serving of this dish without thinking much. While Turkey offers a range of dishes, the whole Europe is an exciting continent for foodies. The food festivals in Europe are proof of that.
A simple soup dish – choices are lentil or tomato. Go adventurous with your culinary preferences and try it with sheep brain or tongue soup. Turkish are crazy about their soups. So, you ought to try this once while you are on your holiday in Turkey. This will become your comfort food in no time since soup is all about cozy and warm feeling in your mouth.
Baklava is the finest example of Turkish dessert passion. The ingredients (phyllo dough, nuts and syrup) are simple, yet craftsmanship is most definitely required. The thinness of the dough layers is crucial. The nuts, walnuts, hazelnuts or pistachios, vary from region to region in Turkey.
The nuts are spread in between the layers of phyllo dough. Then the pile of dough is dressed with butter, baked and finally soaked in syrup. You need to pick a good place to eat your baklava since it definitely has to be fresh and masterfully made. There are some accomplished places to eat baklava, like Güllüoğlu or Köşkeroğlu. Here you can find more information about baklava.
Künefe is a traditional Arab cheese pastry. The unsalted cheese in between the two layers of kadayıf is the essence. Kadayıf are thin fibers of dough, a simple mix of water and flour. It is served warm because it is freshly baked and soaked in syrup.
This Turkish dessert has an amber color and is dressed with the grounded pistachio on top. The cheese melts inside and when you take a bite you sense different textures, such as the soft cheese and the crusty dough. I also like the way the cheese sooths the heavy sugary taste.
10. Kuyu Kebabı / Tandır
Kuyu kebabı is a specialty from the city of Kastamonu in the mid-west of the Black Sea Region. The kebap got its name from the cooking style, where kuyu means ‘well’. The idea is to slowly cook the whole male lamb (without the inner organs) hung in a well or specially constructed hole over a charcoal fire. Kuyu kebabı requires pine tree branches for the flavor.