the appetizer:

Though Turkish cuisine is a fusion of Turk, Arabic, Persian, Central Asian and Greek cuisines, there are also many regional differences in Turkey's cooking, from the Black Sea's corn and fish to the eastern region's mezes and kebabs.

Global Destinations
Slab of lamb  


Menu Guide

doner kebabi: thin slices of lamb cut from a wedge-shaped slab of meat roasted on a slowly revolving, vertical spit, served with roasted peppers, tomatoes and often rice.

kazan dibi: a firm, milk and rice flour pudding with a dark brown surface made by letting the bottom of the pudding brown over a burner before squares of it are cut out of the pan and rolled like a jelly-roll.

zeytinyagli yaprak dolmasi: stuffed vine leaves in olive oil.

muhammara: a spread made of ground walnuts, roasted red peppers, bread crumbs, hot red peppers and garlic, mixed with olive oil and seasoned with pomegranate syrup and lemon juice.

manti: small cheese- or minced meat-filled pastas served smothered in a yogurt and garlic sauce flavored with mint, or a tomato sauce.

icli kofte: tapered, oval patties of minced lamb and bulgur filled with a minced meat, spice and nut mixture, sometimes containing rice.

hamsi kusu: a pair of filleted anchovy-like fish wrapped around a filling of rice and pine nuts, then breaded and deep-fried.

Ali Nazik Kebabi: a purée of roasted eggplant mixed with yogurt and topped with seasoned, minced lamb

cacik: a dill- or mint-flavored salad of yogurt, grated cucumber and garlic. Add water or a few ice cubes, and it becomes a cold soup

ezme: an appetizer and also a relish made of finely chopped tomato, cucumber, pepper, hot pepper, onion and flat-leaf parsley in olive oil and a touch of vinegar

gozleme: circles of thin, rolled dough covered with meat, cheese or vegetables, then folded like an envelope and then griddle-fried.

kaymakli kayisi tatlisi: dried apricots, poached and filled with thick rich cream and garnished with grated pistachios.


From Eat Smart In Turkey. Reprinted by permission of Ginkgo Press.


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This page modified January 2007