MEALS the Turkish cuisine (Türk mutfağı) is one of three major cuisine’s of the world. Almost all our lunches and dinners will be of Turkish cuisine, which is very healthy, and including fresh fruits and vegetables. Beef and lambs are typically served.
Different tastes in every region contribute to the complexity of Turkish cuisine. For example, due to heavy rains, the eastern black sea region is not appropriate for wheat production; therefore they specialized in dishes which rely mostly on corn and corn flour. The Southeast Anatolian region is famous for Kebabs, as a result of its abundant livestock. The Aegean region, known for its olive production, is famous for its delicious olive oiled vegetables and herbs while pastries are the monopoly of Thrace. The cuisine of the Black Sea Region uses fish extensively, especially the Black Sea anchovy (hamsi) and includes maize dishes. Istanbul cuisine combines the most delicious flavors of each region. Dough-based desserts such as baklava, şöbiyet, kadayıf and künefe.
Breakfast will consist of cheese, yogurt, fruit, olives, eggs, jams, butter, delicious honey, just-baked Turkish breads, coffee, and tea and much more we can accommodate vegetarian diets on all our tours. Turkish wines’ are excellent, but if you’d prefer the refreshment of along cold beer, try a bottle of Efes – an excellent brew. Raki is another drink you should sample. It’s a fairly powerful spirit and should be mixed with ice and water.
Now we wish to mention two useful idioms that should not be forgotten: First, as most of you know, before eating it is common to say Afiyet Olsun which essentially is the same as saying Bon Appetit, secondly, to complement the chef, it is polite and customary to say Elinize Sağlık which means “health to your hands”, but is interpreted as meaning,
Turkish meze often consist of beyaz peynir (literally “white cheese”), kavun (sliced ripe melon), acılı ezme (hot pepper paste often with walnuts), haydari (thick strained yogurt with herbs), patlıcan salatası (cold eggplant salad), beyin salatası (brain salad), kalamar tava (fried calamari or squid), midye dolma and midye tava (stuffed or fried mussels), enginar (artichokes),cacık (yogurt with cucumber and garlic), pilaki (foods cooked in a special sauce), dolma or sarma (rice-stuffed vine leaves or other stuffed vegetables, such as bell peppers), arnavut ciğeri (a liver dish, served cold), octopus salad, and çiğ köfte (raw meatballs with bulgur).
Lahmacun,”meat with dough” is a round, thin piece of dough topped with minced meat (most commonly beef or lamb) and minced vegetables and herbs including onions, tomatoes and parsley, then baked. Lahmacun is often served with ayran or şalgam and wrapped around vegetables, including pickles, tomatoes, peppers,onions, lettuce, and roasted eggplant.