Turkey: Food & Drink
The cuisine of Turkey originated in central Asia as this was the first home of the Turks. Today, it serves as a mixture of influences from the various cultures that have inhabited Turkey through the centuries, with the Mediterranean influence being one of the most prominent. Despite dishes changing depending on geographic region as well as climate, one aspect of Turkish cuisine that is standard is the use of fresh, local ingredients.
Popular dishes include:
Kebabs: Kebabs are very popular in Turkey and encompass not only grilled or skewered meats, but also stews and casseroles.
Sis-kebab: This involves grilled cubes of meat on a skewer.
Adana kebab: This is minced lamb meat with hot peppers and spices formed around a flat skewer. (Lamb is the most popular meat in Turkey).
Doner kebab: The general doner kebab has slices of lamb that have been cooked on a vertical revolving spit. In Turkey, there are a variety of types of doner kebabs.
Patlican kebab: Slices of eggplant and lamb are grilled on a skewer.
Iskender kebab: This is one of the most famous dishes to come from northern Turkey. Slices of doner meat are served over small pieces of cooked flatbread and covered with tomato sauce and hot butter. Traditionally, Iskender kebabs are accompanied by yoghurt.
Lahmacun: This is Turkey’s answer to the pizza. It is made on bread as thin as a crepe which is then covered with chopped onions, lamb and tomatoes.
Kofte: These are flat or round meatballs that are made out of lamb meat and are served with slices of tomato and whole green chili peppers.
Aryan is a traditional Turkish drink that is a combination of yoghurt, salt and water. Boza is popular in the winter as it tastes like eggnog. It is made from mildly fermented millet. Sahlep is another favourite during the winter. It is served hot and is made from pulverized tubers of wild orchids. Sahlep is quite sweet and comes sprinkled with cinnamon.
Turkey produces some dry wines, both red and white, while Efes and Tuborg beers are the most commonly available beers, however, recent years have seen the introduction of foreign brands. Raki is a local alcoholic drink that is made from distilled raisins that are then redistilled with aniseed. Even after being diluted with water, raki is known for being very strong. While alcohol is widely available throughout the country, during Ramadan it is considered polite to avoid drinking in public.
Freshly squeezed fruit juices are very cheap and are available everywhere. During the winter months, the citrus season occurs in the south, producing incredible fruit drinks. Carrot juice, banana milk and sour apple juice are also popular.
Things to know:
\Many hotels and restaurants will add a service charge to bills. In upscale restaurants, a tip of 10-15% is standard. Approximately 5-10% is standard in inexpensive eateries. Taxi fares should be rounded up to a whole dollar. Many people partake in Turkish baths when visiting, it is customary to tip 15% of the total and split it amongst attendants.
Turkey Travel Information
At Goway we believe that a well-informed traveller is a safer traveller. With this in mind, we have compiled an easy to navigate travel information section dedicated to Turkey.
Learn about the history and culture of Turkey, the must-try food and drink, and what to pack in your suitcase. Read about Turkey's nature and wildlife, weather and geography, along with 'Country Quickfacts' compiled by our travel experts. Our globetrotting tips, as well as our visa and health information will help ensure you're properly prepared for a safe and enjoyable trip. The only way you could possibly learn more is by embarking on your journey and discovering Turkey for yourself. Start exploring… book one of our Turkey tours today!
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