Traditional Turkish Cuisine
Turkish cuisine is mainly derived from Ottoman cuisine; which is a buried treasure, the heritage of a great empire which lasted for 700 years.
A synthesis of Central Asian; Anatolian, Middle Eastern and Balkan flavors. Bearing in mind how big and ethnically diverse the Ottoman Empire was, it is easy to understand why influences from at least four different cultures can be found in Turkish food today; Balkan, Asian, Arabian and Mediterranean.
Though typical dishes vary across the different parts of the country; there are some common key ingredients that can be found almost universally: lamb, beef, rice, eggplants, peppers, onions and of course for Turkey is famous desserts pistachios, almonds, and hazelnuts.
The sweet side of life in Turkey
Think of the sweetest thing you’ve ever eaten. Multiply that by three and you get the flavor of Turkey is the most famous dessert Baklava. Today’s Baklava recipes date back to at least the 15th century, though the initial time and place of its origin are still debatable. What is for sure though is that baklava is one of the most popular snacks to eat between meals or with a cup of tea. Traditionally it is made from filo pastry filled with pistachio, almonds or hazelnuts and held together with syrup. A lighter and rather fresher dessert is the Turkish Muhalebbi a creamy, milk-based pudding. It is thickened by rice flour, topped with syrup and often flavored with cinnamon, saffron and some pistachios on top.
And a trip to Turkey doesn’t even count if you don’t return home with some treats like the delicious Turkish delight (gelatinous candies made from starch and sugar), Tahin (crushed sesame seeds), flour or semolina Helva or Marzipan (Turkish world).