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Turkish Cuisine





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Turkish Cuisine via Paradise Corner Delft



Turkish cuisine is the cuisine of Turkey-Turkiye. It is largely the heritage of Ottoman Empire cuisine, which can be described as a fusion and refinement of Mediterranean, Balkan, Middle Eastern, Central Asian and Eastern European cuisines. Turkish cuisine has in turn influenced those and other neighbouring cuisines, including those of Southeast Europe (Balkans), Central Europe, and Western Europe. The Ottomans fused various culinary traditions of their realm taking influences from and influencing Mesopotamian cuisine, Greek cuisine, Levantine cuisine, Egyptian cuisine, Balkan cuisine, along with traditional Turkish elements from Central Asia (such as mantı, ayran, kaymak), creating a vast array of specialities. Turkish cuisine also includes dishes invented in the Ottoman palace kitchen.

Turkish cuisine varies across the country. The cooking of Istanbul, Bursa, Izmir, and rest of the Anatolia region inherits many elements of Ottoman court cuisine, including moderate use of spices, a preference for rice over bulgur, koftes, and a wider availability of vegetable stews (türlü), eggplant, stuffed dolmas and fish. The cuisine of the Black Sea Region uses fish extensively, especially the Black Sea anchovy (hamsi) and includes maize dishes. The cuisine of the southeast (e.g. Urfa, Gaziantep, Adıyaman and Adana) is famous for its variety of kebabs, mezes and dough-based desserts such as baklava, şöbiyet, kadayıf, katmer and künefe.

Especially in the western parts of Turkey, where olive trees grow abundantly, olive oil is the major type of oil used for cooking. The cuisines of the Aegean, Marmara and Mediterranean regions are rich in vegetables, herbs, and fish. Central Anatolia has many famous specialties, such as keşkek, mantı (especially from Kayseri) and gözleme. Food names directly cognate with mantı are also found in Chinese (mantou or steamed bun) and Korean cuisine (mandu) and it is generally considered to have originated in Mongolia during the 13th century.

Specialties are often named for places, and may refer to different styles of preparation. For example, Urfa kebap is less spicy and thicker than Adana kebap. Although meat-based foods such as kebabs are common in Turkish cuisine abroad, meals in Turkey largely center around rice, vegetables, and bread.


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