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Old 12th January 2009, 21:29   #1 (permalink)
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Smile do you like Meze

For me the best of Turkish food is wading my way through a range of meze..(mezeler if you want to use the plural.)
Although most restaurants serving tourists will offer meze as a starter and though there is nothing wrong in serving meze as a starter Turkish people dont see them that way.

İn Turkish cuisine the idea of having a food as an appetiser/starter is alien.İf you are hungry you eat..theres no need to stimulate the appetite.
A meze is also not in the same category as Spanish Tapas which are primarily bar food and usually followed by a main meal. Having said that İ believe that Meze are a tradition of the Meyhane when a night out in a tavern with music and rakı was always accompanied with a good range of mezeler.

When drinking rakı the most basic meze is usually some olives ,white cheese and melon, and at its most sumptuous will include a spread with countless little dishes which can take hours to slowly get through.

The last time we hopped over to Cyprus we ate at a restaurant where the owner comes from Hatay and knows us well and he served us over 20 meze dishes. It sounds a lot but there were just little bits of this and that in each dish. İt was gorgeous, and because it was Cyprus there was a good few fish mezeler.

Heres a short list of meze that would make a great meal at any time of the year with or with alcohol.
Some ones you will all know.. and if you have a favourite not included here please share it.!

Ezme most people who have been to Turkey know this one..its the crushed toms onions peppers they usually serve with flat bread while you wait for your meal
Cacık is also a common one in tourist areas...yoğurt with finely diced salatalık

Hydari yoğurt with garlic

Stuffed bell peppers usually stuffed with rice and a little mince.

Sıgara böreği cigar shaped rolls stuffed with white cheese ,parsley and fried.

Sarma stuffed vine leaves ......i’m not a fan of this one

Imam bayıldı aubergine flattened and topped with a mix of toms onions etc

Humus chick pea paste garlic, cumin,lemon i love this stuff

Tarator, walnuts, tahini, red pepper, parsley all blended. This is nice and different

Bakla broad beans mint garlic parsley olive oil blended a bit like humus but for me a harder taste.

Ceviz biber..walnuts bread hot minced peppers blended topped with nar eşkisi (pomegranate molasses) this one is really hot if you do it properly..and the sweet nar takes the heat away.

Cauliflower florets coated in breadcumbs and fried.

Mucver little fritters of mixed grated veg usually kabak/Zuchinni and sometimes white cheese added, finely diced onion mixed and parsley held together with beaten egg and fried

Kisir bulgur mixed with spring onions parsley mint toms diced peppers and mixed with pomegranate molasses served with long crispy lettuce leaves.

Ciğ köfte..this is raw minced meat which is kneaded and kneaded with hot spices...maybe the kneading and the spice cooks or alters the raw meat. However its one to be careful with.

The list goes on and on..there are several fish mezeler, and some with meat,
Some hot some cold some are a combination of things you wouldn’t think of together such as grated carrots fried and mixed with yoğurt garlic and mint..really tasty.
Although you can buy some of them ready made in supermarkets nowadays if you have a blender most of these are quite easy to have a go at making yourself.
afiyet olsun
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Old 12th January 2009, 21:55   #2 (permalink)
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Re: do you like Meze

Please stop Shirley I'm drooling. I adore meze. Just last night I bought another Turkish cookery book on Amazon, can't wait to try some new receipes. The problem is sourcing the ingredients.

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Old 12th January 2009, 21:57   #3 (permalink)
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Re: do you like Meze

Ooh - you've got me salivating - give me meze rather than main meal any day!!
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Old 12th January 2009, 22:19   #4 (permalink)
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Re: do you like Meze

I love meze too and would rather have that than a main meal when we go out and oh the bread they give you to dip in it...... I so miss the Turkish ekmek when I come to the UK..
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Old 12th January 2009, 22:21   #5 (permalink)
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Re: do you like Meze

I would rather have meze than than a main meal anyday.


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Old 12th January 2009, 22:30   #6 (permalink)
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Re: do you like Meze

Me too
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Old 13th January 2009, 12:39   #7 (permalink)
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Re: do you like Meze

mmm me too, I'm glad you said it's ok to just have meze as I always feel a bit guilty when I tell the waiter we only want meze.
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Old 13th January 2009, 12:55   #8 (permalink)
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Re: do you like Meze

Quote:
Originally Posted by JEANNIE
I would rather have meze than than a main meal anyday.


Jeannie

Me too - I really like the variety of meze.
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Old 13th January 2009, 15:23   #9 (permalink)
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Re: do you like Meze

I love Meze too! such a lovely way to eat... typically Turkish in that it's all about sharing. Antep Esme is one of my faves and also like the grated carrots and yogurt dish you mention, Shirley. Sounds like Ceviz Biber would be right up my street, but don't recall seeing it on any menus....
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Old 13th January 2009, 16:37   #10 (permalink)
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Re: do you like Meze

I love esme although I have only just found out there is oil in it - I munched quite happily thinking it was fat free.
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