A Culinary Journey Through Turkey’s Diverse Regional Cuisines

Turkey consists of seven regions, with every region having its own soil and climate as distinguishing characteristics. Hence, different items grown in each region have an impact on the region’s food culture. Anatolia’s traditions and customs, other than the region’s unique array of products, serve as the base for regional cuisines.

The country’s culinary culture and tastes are refined by the wide range of geographical features and ethnicities that make up Turkey’s boundaries. Traditional Turkish cuisine has a distinctive flavour that draws inspiration from the rich spices of the Middle East and Western Asia, as well as the Mediterranean region’s love of fresh food ingredients.

If you are passionate about the regional food in Turkey, a gastronomic tour of Turkey’s regions is highly recommended. There are cheap flights to Turkey from Dubai, UAE. You can find the best offers from Pegasus flights if you have a flexible schedule and are ready for an optional date for a journey.

● Cuisine in the Inner Anatolia Region

The cuisine in this part of Turkey, which is situated between the Black Sea and the Mediterranean has been around for thousands of years. Rice, navy beans (haricot), red lentils, and chickpeas, which are high in carbohydrates and protein, are common staple foods.

Though people rely on fresh ingredients, they still resort to drying and pickling numerous products to store them for a long time due to the humid atmosphere. Kayseri in the Central Anatolia region is known for its manti dish, which is a beef mixture spiced, steamed or boiled in the dough, and served with oil, yoghurt, and seasonings. For the brides in this region, it is customary to make manti for her future mother-in-law during the engagement.

Nevertheless, the Kayseri Province has different Turkish tribes living together. That makes every district in the province have its own distinctive culinary culture.

The food-related custom known as the Zekeriya Sofras started in Central Anatolia’s Ankara right after the Republic was declared throughout the country in the 30s and 40s. It was held to make or fulfil an Adak, to make a new wish or a vow of a sacrifice. It is now forgotten. The food served today featured mostly nuts, dried fruit, nibbles, and things that resembled salads for meals.

● Cuisine in the Aegean Sea Region

Aegean cuisine holds a very special place in Turkey. With its exquisite meals made with olive oil, fresh herbs, and flavours reminiscent of the sea. Some delectable foods from the Aegean Region that you should try are:

Şevketi Bostan

Aegean naturally connotes a lot of herbs. Sevketi Bostan is one of the region’s most popular and regularly consumed flavours. It is named after a plant, which blooms in November and lasts until the end of the season in spring. Depending on the region, its name changes.

İzmir Köfte (Meatball)

Most people are familiar with Izmir meatballs. It is prepared using plenty of tomatoes, potatoes, tomato sauce, and peppers. As a result, it has been the most desired dish of people for many years and is prepared during any season of the year.

Börülce (Cowpea)

The Aegean is known for several different varieties of cow beans. Together with soup and food, it can be consumed as a salad with lots of lemon and olive oil.

Çökertme Kebabı

It is a flavour that is created by slathering generous amounts of meat, tomato sauce, and yoghurt on thinly sliced French fries. You will find meatballs in some regions to provide variety.

● Cuisine in Southeast Turkey Region

The taste dramatically changes from the west to the southeast, incorporating Middle Eastern influences and favouring dishes with meat. When comparing Gaziantep, Mardin and Urfa to the west, you can find huge differences in traditions, culture, and even languages spoken daily in the street.

Paca Bean soup (Corba) is well-liked, particularly for breakfast in the city centre. It is a dish of rice, lamb leg, and broth that is served on a plate. There is a lot of meat that is smothered in garlic, broth, and chilli peppers. The style was popular back when the traditional Turkish breakfast (tomatoes, eggs, cheese, etc.) wasn’t as well known.

You can introduce your palette to new tastes with Dalek or lamb’s spleen, though the most popular budget food is kebab throughout the southeast. Dalek is a grilled lamb spleen and is a famous dish in Urfa. The other dish you can never afford to miss in Mardin is Kaburga Dolmasi or stuffed lamb ribs with rice. 

It is a flavour that is created by slathering generous amounts of meat, tomato sauce, and yoghurt on thinly sliced French fries. You will find meatballs in some regions to provide variety.

● Cuisine in the Black Sea Coast Region

Fish kinds are particularly well-known in the Black Sea region. Anchovies, however, are the most well-known fish from the Black Sea, and residents of that region commonly eat them. Because of this, anchovies were added to a variety of regional dishes, resulting in the emergence of regional flavours.

Rice with anchovies, also known as Hamsili Pilav, is a time-consuming dish in Black Sea cuisine. Anchovies are sorted while preparing the rice to make Hamsili Pilav. It also includes Allspice, onions, bay leaves, dried mint and currants.

A dish from traditional Turkish cuisine, Börek comes in a wide range of forms and interpretations. For instance, Laz Börei or Laz Börek is prepared using phyllo dough, sherbet, butter, and pudding. One of the most popular foods in the Black Sea region is Kuymak. Given its popularity, each city has a unique preparatory process. Generally speaking, corn flour and cheese are used to make a classic Kuymak.

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