Splendid Tastes of Turkish Cuisine

Turkish cuisine, having a six hundred year splendid flavour inheritance, is considered as one of the richest cuisines in the world. In this article, you will discover the tastes of Anatolian splendid heritage.

Meets and Kebabs in Turkish Cuisine

The arrival of Turkic peoples from the Asian heartland enriched Anatolia’s meat culture. The succulent meeting point of meat and fire is kebabs.

Ali Nazik is an example of Turkish Cuisine - Image credit is İmam Çağdaş

Ali Nazik is an example of  Kebab in Turkish Cuisine – Image credit is İmam Çağdaş

Kebab, the cornerstone of the Turkish culinary culture, is prepared with different flavours and techniques in each region. Generally grilled on wood or coal fire. Kebabs are often made from beef, lamb or chicken meat.

Kebabs, prepared with sauce and in various ways, constitute the backbone of the traditional cuisine. Varieties of Kebabs such as İskender, Adana, Urfa, Beyti, AvcıÇökertmeCağ,Orman, İncik,İstim, KaburgaTesti, Kuyu, Kıyma, Kağıt, and Yoruk Kebap are widely served in restaurants and kebab lounges.

See Also: 14 Dishes that Show Turkish Cuisine is the Best

Turkish Desserts

Undoubtedly, the Turkish cuisine is globally famous for its delightful desserts. Made with natural ingredients ranging from legumes to fruits, Turkish desserts can be grouped in: desserts made with milk, syrup and dough.

Baklava and green pistachios

Baklava and green pistachios

Feasts, such as gatherings with family or friends, are generally completed with desserts which are often served with tea or Turkish coffee.

In Anatolia, it is a tradition that when you eat sweets, you speak sweetly. There is no greater pleasure than when your guests enjoy a meal in Anatolia.

Delicacies such as Baklava, kadayıf, fıstık sarma, aşure, sütlaç (rice pudding),kaymaklı küfene, kazandibi, revani will certainly impress you with their delicious taste.

See Also: 5 Mouth-Watering Turkish Desserts


All fresh from Turkey’s four seas. Hundreds of kinds of seafood await you on the shores of Anatolia. Whatever flavour appeals most to your palate, you will find it Turkey’s amazing seafood.

Surrounded by seas on its three sides and blessed with an inland sea and lakes, Turkey has the privilege to extensively use seafood in its recipes.

Hamsi Tava

Hamsi (anchovy ) Tava – Image Credit: nalia.com.tr

Turkish seafood recipes and their local versions both in the northern as well as in the southern parts of Turkey have so far become the cornerstones of the Turkish cuisine.

Seasoned with various vegetables, herbs and spices grilled, steamed or fried, seafood is often used in soups, salads and pastas and even as the main ingredient in appetizers.

Fish soupbonito with vegetablespilaf with anchoviesbaked trout, fried mussels, octopus stew, stuffed squid, baked gilthead fish are the main examples of seafood meals.


The Turkish cuisine hub of thriving and diverse tastes for so many centuries has been diversified because of the use of spices. Spices which are obtained from many plants, seeds and tree nuts, are the components which give dishes their final touch.

Different flavors enrich Turkish Cuisine

Different flavours enrich Turkish Cuisine

Sanlıurfa’s famous chipotle chilies known for their bitterness, black pepper and red pepper either powdered or crushed, thyme and mint collected from the mountain foothills, fennel and cinnamon the sweet scented spices as well as sumac the indispensable spice of mantı, and of course allspice and ginger are some of the many spices that define the character and enhance the flavor of the Turkish dishes.

Mezes (Appetizers)

Mezes (appetizers) decorating the tables of so many feasts, either in big family gatherings or cheerful meetings with friends, are made with different ingredients in many ways in almost every corner of Anatolia.

A plate of different type of mezes

A plate of different type of mezes

The Turkish cuisine is rich in mezes most of which are prepared with raw, fried or roasted vegetables and topped with yoghurt or tomato sauce.

Acılı ezme (Turkish style salsa sauce), haydari, fava, pilaki, cacıksaksuka, yoğurtlu kızartma (fried vegetables with yoghurt), kırmızıbiber sarması (stuffed peppers), mücverpiyaz (bean salad) are among the best-known appetizers.

Drinks in Turkish Cuisine

1. Traditional Non-Alcoholic Drinks

Both the traditional and modern Turkish cuisine offers a variety of drinks that can be drunk any time of the day from breakfast to dinner time. Here are some non-alcoholic traditional drinks.

Cay, the Turkish tea, is grown along the Black Sea coast but it is available anywhere and drunk any time of the day. It is a hot drink that relaxes you and your stomach and helps digestion.

Turkish coffee, a traditional drink made of special coffee beans and drunk in small coffee cups, is served especially at important meetings or after meals. Popular in the southeastern region and influenced by the Arabic culture, Mirra, is a bitter coffee that is brewed several times before it is served.

Brewing of Turkish Coffee

Ayran, which originated in Central Asia, is another traditional drink of the Turkish culture. It is a refreshing salty drink, prepared with yoghurt and water.

Salep is a hot drink prepared with milk and served with cinnamon powder on top while Boza is made of fermented millet, water and sugar and topped with roasted chickpeas. These two drinks are consumed especially during the winter months.

Sıra (cider), made from fermented grape juice, and salgam suyu (turnip juice) obtained from the fermented red carrots, are traditional drinks served particularly with kebab dishes enriching the flavor of such type of meals.

Serbet  (şerbet) is the world's first soft drink.

Serbet  (şerbet) is the world’s first soft drink.

Among the traditional beverages, serbet (sorbet) and surup (sirup) are the legacies of the Ottoman cuisine. They are preferred particularly during summer time for their refreshing taste. Similar to şerbet, şurup is concentrated sorbet and diluted with water before served.

See Also: 6 Amazing Turkish Drinks You Have to Try

2. Alcoholic Drinks

Turkey is a region that has innumerable top quality vineyards. The country produces both wine as well as raki, Turkey’s traditional alcoholic drink. Made from collected grapes, raki has a special place in the Turkish culture and is served primarily with meze and other food dishes. Turkish wine, on the other hand, is made from all types of grapes collected from the eastern and western Anatolia. Raki from Tekirdag and wine from Avanos and Sirince are the best known Turkish alcoholic beverages.

Pastries in Turkish Cuisine

The Turkish Cuisine abounds with delicious pastries which are the most indispensable components of afternoon teas and Anatolian breakfasts.

Kayseri mantısı (Turkish ravioli), forty pieces of which are said to fit in one tablespoon, in addition to pancakes and breads, bagels, kete, griddle cakes, pretzels are among the most renown local tastes waiting for you.

One of the main ingredients of the Turkish culinary culture is simit, a sort of bagel with sesame seeds. It is generally served plain and it consists an indispensable part of the Turkish breakfast, along with tea, cheese or ayran. It is often sold by street vendors who either have a simit trolley or carry the simit in a tray on their head.

Simit and Tea are like two peas in a pod

Simit and Tea are like two peas in a pod

Soups in Turkish Cuisine

According to the Turkish culture, an enjoyable meal begins with any of the diverse and nutritious soups of the Turkish cuisine. Soups made in various ways with ingredients such as meat, chicken, vegetables or cereals determine of the quality of the dinner table.

Ezo Gelin Çorbasi - Image Credit:ardaninmutfagi

Ezo Gelin Çorbasi – Image Credit:ardaninmutfagi

Soups can be consumed any time of the day and may be served hot or cold depending on the recipe. Tarhana, Yayla, Mercimek (lentil soup), Ezo GelinYuvalamaSütlü Mısır unu (corn flour and milk soup) as well as Ayran Aşı (yoghurt soup), are among the most renown soups of the Turkish cuisine.

See Also: Top 7 Delicious Turkish Soups


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