Since the lavish banquets of the Ottoman Imperial Court, Turkish cuisine has been ubiquitously enjoyed across the globe. It is vibrant, varied, and will be integral to your experience of the country when you visit.
The most prolific of gourmands can find new challenges, while wary initiates can still enjoy chowing down on simple, familiar treats like baklava, feta, and the kebab.
Different areas tend to boast their own specialities, with styles and flavours varying between the Black Sea, Anatolia, and Istanbul and Izmir, so there is always something new to try for the hungry traveller.
Turkish Food To Try – Istanbul Restaurant Recommendation
Istanbul has seen a resurgence of interest in Ottoman-style Cuisine, which has left its own, 500-year culinary legacy, still being savoured today. Specialising in the resuscitation of royal delicacies, restaurants like Asitane in the historic heart of Istanbul produce authentic and unique dishes for globetrotting palates. Among their treasure trove of archival delicacies are Sultan’s Favourite, a veal dish with eggplant purée, and Helatiye, a dessert incorporating pistachios, almonds, and rosewater. (See picture below)
Turkish Food to Try in Izmir
Izmir is a maze of sensation for the senses, with the scents of warm pastries and breads like börek and pide, mingling with meaty döner . There are also more daunting food choices for the adventurous, like the popular kokoreç, which usually comprises goat or sheep intestines wound around the outside of skewer of offal, or sögüs, a vaguely harrowing kebab of cold brain, tongue and cheek. Not for the faint of heart or feeble of stomach!
Turkish Desserts To Try
You have not earned your post-dinner coffee unless you have enjoyed desert, and in Turkey, there is a lot to choose from. While fresh baklava will always be welcome, special mention should go to Gullac, a dough and pomegranate desert traditionally served at Ramadan, the unusual sweet grain dish called asure, and kadayif, a desert particular to the Ottoman empire which looks and tastes a little like cheesecake soaked in syrup.
Readers Question : What is your favourite food?
This is a guest post by Laura Gavin, avid traveller and food critic.