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Old 9th April 2010, 07:29   #1 (permalink)
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Daily Turkish Meals

This is an example of Turkish daily meals and is more for the information of the new/prospective visitor to Turkey

The first meal of the day is breakfast. A typical Turkish breakfast is fresh tomatoes, white cheese, black olives, bread with honey and preserves, and sometimes an egg.

Lunch often will include a rice or bulgar pilaf dish, lamb or chicken baked with peppers and eggplant, and fresh fish grilled with lemon. A popular lamb cut is pirzola. These are extra thin cut lamb chops which are seasoned with sumac, thyme, and quickly grilled. Favorites include sucuk, a spicy sausage, and pastirma, a sun dried cumin-fenugreek coated preserved beef. It is sliced thin much like pastrami. For lunch or dinner, soups are central in Turkish cuisine. In addition to the famous red lentil soup, there is a well-known soup with the exotic name of Wedding Soup made with lamb shanks in an egg broth.

Dinners will most commonly start with mezeler, - singular: meze - or appetizers. Mezeler are Turkish specialties, showing off the originality and skill of a restaurant. Roasted pureed eggplant, fine chopped salads, miniature filled pasta called "manti," pepper and turnip pickles, mackerel stuffed with pilaf, sardines rolled in grape leaves, and "köfte", spiced lamb meatballs, all tantalize the diner.

One unique specialty of Turkish cuisine is the zeytinağlı or olive oil course. Foods such as peppers or tomatoes are prepared with olive oil. These are typically served at room temperature.

Dessert is commonly melon and fresh fruit. Desserts made with filo dough, puddings of rose water and saffron, are favored. Another favorite is dried apricots drenched in syrup, stuffed with buffalo milk cheese and garnished with pistachio nuts. All sweets are usually served with Turkish coffee. Turks are credited with the spread of coffee throughout their empire and later Europe.

During the day the popular drink is tea, served in crystal tulip shaped glasses. Tea houses are popular among the village men, while coffee houses cater towards the young moderns in cities. Two popular winter drinks are: cinnamon flavored sahlep, a drink made from powdered iris root, and boza, a fermented barley drink. Raki, an anise liqueur is the national drink of Turkey. Sour cherry juice, turnip juice, rose tea and elma çay, apple tea are all popular.

In restaurants, the waiter will help the traveler select a meal, with breads and olives always available. Put your dinner into the hands of the restaurant and you will not be disappointed. Regional specialties abound, ask for them. In southern Turkey, Adana is famous for Adanakebab a spiced minced meat. Istanbul is known for midye or pilaf stuffed mussel meze.

The Aegean region near Izmir, is known for its figs, fish, and peaches. In some restaurants, lemon cologne is available after dining to pour over hands as a refreshing cleanser.

Unique specialties of Turkish cuisine make souvenirs from a trip. Lokum - a gelled sweet often mixed with hazelnuts or pistachios, is cut into cubes and rolled in powdered sugar. In the UK it is commonly called Turkish delight. Rose, banana, and eggplant liqueur are savored. Sweet hot red pepper paste, Muhammara, notes the Arabic influence. Rose petal or sour morello cherry jam, fig and quince preserves are popular. Pulverized Turkish coffee, black Rize çay or tea, and raki are happy reminders of alfresco dinners. A thicker version of filo dough, called, yufka can be found in middle eastern markets.

Source: Turkish Food - Trk Yemek


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