E A T & D R I N K S
FOODS AND DRINKS
The Turkish diet has meant that Turks now appear near the top of the world obesity stakes
Turkish cuisine is one of the world's richest cuisines ain't it contains a large diversity. A wide range of soups, vegetables with olive oil, meat dishes, fish, kebabs, pastries and desserts are available on the menu. Each region has its own unique dishes. In general, it can be categorized as Mediterranean cuisine, the Black Sea cuisine, Eastern cuisine, Ottoman Palace cuisine and Steppe food culture.
Think Turkish food and you may conjure up a vertically roasting döner kebap, spitting revolving spitting revolving while meet is deftly sliced off and stuffed into a hunk of pide. ( Turkish style bread), soaked in a garlicky yogurt, and topped with salad sprinkled with sumak (ground purple-red berries.) Salivating already? You haven't tasted anything yet. Food from the Turkish homeland is so much tastier and so much more diverse than it is most famous exports.
It's down to the crunchy-fresh ingredients, the regional specialties and the tender loving care taken to plan the flavours of every meal.. But most importantly, food in Turkey is not merely fuel but a celebration of community. Meals unfurl with great ceremony -they are joyful, boisterous and always, communal. Turks eat because they are celebrating a circumcision crunching on a handful of green plums heralding the start of spring, or savouring a shared leisurely breakfast with the family before the day begins. Turks drink for community too: endless cups of tea to foster new or old friendship; nights spent drinking raki (grape spirits infused with aniseed) while debating the merits of Gaziantep's fistiks (pistachios) over Giresun's hazelnuts.
The basics of Turkish cooking may have evolved on the steppes of Central Asia, but as the Ottoman Empire grew it swallowed up the ingredients of Greece, Persia, Arabia and the Balkans, creating deliciously diverse cuisine you can enjoy every meal. Afiyet Olsun! (Good appetite!)
Deceptively simple, yet absolutely delicious when done to perfection, the humble simit, an O- shaped bread ring sprinkled with sesame seeds, is the number one snack for Turks. The magic ingredient in something seemingly so simple - flour, water and salt -is pekmez, a grape syrup.