For some people, food is a chore, a mandatory task that needs to be completed, or even a waste of time. For others, it’s all they can think about, a regular party that happens in their mouth, an explosion of flavors dancing on their tongue.
If ever there were a culture that prioritized food, ensuring every single bite could be a masterpiece enjoyed, it would be the Turkish culture. A beautiful mix of the cuisines of the surrounding nations, the Turkish flair has a dash of Central Asian food, a splash of Middle Eastern spices, and a sprinkle of European flavors.
Kahvalti, translated “breakfast”, may be the most classic Turkish meal. It consists of many small plates overflowing with a variety of tasty foods to create a collage of colorful goodies: sausage, fried or boiled eggs, olives, at least two kinds of cheese, jams, fruit, bread, pastries, and much more. After breakfast, a typical lunch may consist of borek or lentil soup seasoned with mint and parsley and topped off with a few drops of lemon juice. Borek, served as a meal or a side dish, is a pastry filled with feta cheese, spinach, potatoes or ground lamb meat.
Many Turkish dishes contain rice. However, Turkish rice isn’t just boiled in salt water; it is first fried with some olive oil and butter in a pan before the rice is then boiled and steamed. Dolma consists of vegetables, usually bell peppers, stuffed with rice and seasoned with basil, parsley, and mint, occasionally containing pieces of meat. These stuffed peppers are then baked in the oven and served with Greek yogurt. The Turkish meatball, Kofte, which is usually grilled, may be prepared with bulgur or rice, grilled peppers, eggplant, and even grilled corn.
When it comes to dessert, the Turkish people may possess one of the most famous desserts in the world: Turkish delight, or Lokum. Many people know about this mouth-watering treat from reading or watching The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Including a variety of fruit flavors and even a rose water flavor, these cubes of goodness covered in powdered sugar are often filled with pistachios, walnuts, or almonds. Additionally, pastries form a large sector of Turkish desserts and are often soaked in syrups. Baklava, the most popular, is composed of many sheets of thin pastry covered in alternate layers of butter, honey syrup and chopped nuts.
So, whether you currently hate the thought of having to eat or whether it’s already the highlight of your day, after exposing your taste buds to the Turkish cuisine, there is no turning back. You’re guaranteed to be the first to ask, “Did someone say food?”