Food to Eat
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Turkish cuisine (Turkish: Türk mutfağı) is largely the heritage of Ottoman cuisine, which can be described as a fusion and refinement of Central Asian, Caucasian, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean and Balkan cuisines. Turkish cuisine has in turn influenced those and other neighbouring cuisines, including those of Western Europe. The Ottomans fused various culinary traditions of their realm with influences from Middle Eastern cuisines, along with traditionalTurkic elements from Central Asia (such as yogurt and mantı), creating a vast array of specialities—many with strong regional associations.

Turkish cuisine varies across the country. The cooking of Istanbul, Bursa, Izmir, and rest of the Aegean region inherits many elements of Ottoman court cuisine, with a lighter use of spices, a preference for rice over bulgur,koftes and a wider availability of vegetables stew (türlü), eggplant, stuffed dolmas and fish. The cuisine of theBlack Sea Region uses fish extensively, especially the Black Sea anchovy (hamsi) and includes maize dishes. The cuisine of the southeast -Urfa, Gaziantep and Adana- is famous for its variety of kebabs, mezes and dough-based desserts such as baklava, kadayıf and künefe.

Especially in the western parts of Turkey, where olive trees grow abundantly, olive oil is the major type of oil used for cooking. The cuisines of the Aegean, Marmara and Mediterranean regions are rich in vegetables, herbs, and fish. Central Anatolia has many famous specialties, such as keşkek (kashkak), mantı (especially from Kayseri) and gözleme.

A specialty's name sometimes includes that of a city or region, either in or outside of Turkey, and may refer to the specific technique or ingredients used in that area. For example, the difference between Urfa kebap and Adana kebap is the thickness of the skewer and the amount of hot pepper that kebab contains. Urfa kebab is less spicy and thicker than Adana kebap.

Here are a few pages which we think you should visit to learn more about our delightful Turkish food:

You can find some authentic Turkish recipes, all tried and tested by a wonderfully talented Turkish lady (Binnur Tomay) here.

BBC Good Food website describes our gorgeous Turkish dishes as: “A colourful cuisine of aromatic rose desserts to robust griddled meats.”

If you are feeling adventurous this weekend, here is a selection of some inspirational recipes.

Another skilful Turkish lady has created this blog to provide step-by-step recipes for all Turkish foodies.

If you fancy something more professional than just casual cooking, here is the acclaimed chef Ozlem Warren’s website where you can find information on her cookery classes as well as the mouth-watering authentic recipes.

This is for keen Pinteresters! Here is a brilliant selection of great Turkish food.