1 – Menemen
Think of all the ways to serve eggs for breakfast have been exhausted? Think again. Somewhat similar to shakshuka, menemen is a cross between scrambled eggs and a vegetable omelette. Tomatos, onions and peppers are sautéed then eggs are quickly whisked in and broiled by the simerring tomato juice to form this hearty but light breakfast staple.
2 – Kebab
Most fast food junkies will know kebab in its most basic form – doner, meaning turning, is the open faced sandwich stuffed with greens and thinly shaved slices from a massive vertically rotating skewer of meat from which it takes its name. However, those more familiar with Turkish cuisine will recognize kebab as a sprawling family tree of all kinds of skewered meats, seasoned and served with different sides. Some of the most famous types of kebab are identified by their city or region such as the spicy Adana or the milder Urfa. A particularly famous form of kebab is known as the Iskender Kebab. It is prepared over a bed of pita bread and drenched slices of meat and tomato juice served with heaps of yogurt. Don’t forget to try our signature dish the Metre Kebab. Its good for four people and will easily dazzle your guests and fill your stomach.
3 – Lentil Soup
This soup is a soup that can be found everywhere in Turkey. Its deliciousness is matched only by how simple it is to make. A puree of lentils and spices, garnished with cilantro and the juice of a freshly cut lemon slice and served alongside fresh bread makes it an inexpensive option. It helps that it is filling, soul-warming and can be found everywhere from cafeterias to upscale restaurants.
4 – Cig Köfte
Pronounced “chee”, this variant of kofte literally means ‘ raw meatballs’. As unappetizing as the name might appear, cig köfte is said to have originated within the geography of modern-day Turkey as early as the time of Abraham. At this time, a shortage of firewood prompted the innovation of this original version of steak tartar. Traditionally an amalgam of kneaded bulgur, scallions, spices and fresh raw meat, the cig köfte served nowadays is a bit easier to stomach with the removal of raw meat from the mix. Wrapped in lettuce or thin flatbread, this dish is a quick and delicious snack on the go.
5 – Pide
Often called Turkish Pizza, Pide (peeday) is a boat shaped flatbread served with a variety of toppings often including minced meat or spinach or cheese and Turkish sausages. It is cooked in a large wood burning oven and served on a wooden board and goes incredibly well with a fresh glass of Ayran.
Possibly one of the easiest fast foods to find in Turkey, Gözleme is the perfect snack to eat on the go. Similar to a crepe, this savoury Turkish flatbread is made from hand-rolled dough and is filled with various toppings, such as cheese, meat, vegetables or potatoes. It’s then sealed and cooked over a griddle. Try one of the cheese and spinach variations – you won’t regret it.
7 – Testi Kebab
A little theatre at the dining table never hurt anybody and ordering a testi kebab will certainly bring you an entertaining (and tasty) meal. Meat and vegetables are slow-cooked in a sealed pot, and when it arrives at your table, your waiter will bring out a knife & hammer and slice the top of the pot right in front of your eyes while cracking the clay to open the pot and let out the fragrant steam and the extremely tender meat.
8 – Along with the classic
Turkish Pide, Etli Ekmek or Konya Bread is another pizza-like dish which originated from a town called Konya. An extremely long, thin piece of flat bread, normally over a meter in size, is topped with meat and cheese and then cut into smaller pieces. Delicious and just so filling, it really does feed the soul.
9 – Kuru Fasulye
Or white beans! Turks just love them. It can be cooked with or without meat or with dried spicey thin slices of beef called pastırma. Served with sade pilav (plain rice) and turşu (pickles and sauerkraut) it really is one of the most authentic dishes to be served at Turkish Village.
10 – Sweet, sweet baklava
A list of Turkish food would not be complete without the king of them all, which is baklava. Made from a simple combination of crispy filo pastry, chopped nuts and soaked in a sweet, sticky syrup, baklava is ideal as either a dessert or sweet snack. Sometimes served with a healthy dose of ice cream, the variety of nuts used differs from region to region. Gaziantep, a South-eastern province is famous for their use of pistachio nuts and production of what many say is the best Turkish baklava in the country.