News Exploring the Culinary Delights: The 10 Most Popular Mediterranean Turkish Dishes
Exploring the Culinary Delights: The 10 Most Popular Mediterranean Turkish Dishes
Welcome to our culinary exploration of the Mediterranean Turkish cuisine! In this content, we invite you to embark on a gastronomic journey and discover the 10 most popular and mouthwatering dishes from the region. Prepare to tantalize your taste buds with a diverse range of flavors, vibrant spices, and rich culinary traditions that have been passed down through generations.
Tuzda tavuk is a traditional Turkish dish originating from Hatay. It involves stuffing a whole chicken with rice, spices, and seasonings, then encasing it in a salt crust. The chicken is baked in a wood-fired oven or furnace until tender. When served, the salt crust is cracked open with a hammer, creating a visually appealing experience. This dish is now popular in regional and international restaurants.
Karsambaç, a traditional Turkish dessert from the Mersin highlands, particularly Çamlıyayla, is a distinctive delicacy crafted from pure mountain snow and sweet syrup. The blocks of snow are carefully collected from the mountains using a pickaxe and then transported to the city.
Once in the city, the snow is grated with a knife before being combined with a luscious sweet syrup, which can range from honey and sugar syrup to molasses. This delightful treat is commonly found being sold on street corners, offering a refreshing escape from the summer heat.
Main ingredients: Yuvarlama Çorbası
Yuvarlama çorbası, one of Gaziantep's beloved dishes, is a labor-intensive Turkish soup featuring flavorful spiced meatballs, chickpeas, yogurt broth, and olive oil, along with optional ingredients. This soup holds a special place during the three-day celebration of Ramazan Bayramı and is a staple in Anatolian households.
The preparation of this festive soup is a time-consuming affair, often involving the collective effort of family members and neighbors. Together, they come together to roll numerous tiny yuvarlama köfte, the spiced meatballs that are a key component of the soup. These meatballs are traditionally crafted from lean beef mince, mixed with rice or bulgur flour, although there are also meatless variations available.
Kağıt Kebabı (kebab in parchment paper)
Kağıt kebabı, a traditional Turkish kebab originating from Antakya, is a delightful culinary creation. This kebab variation typically combines meat, such as beef or lamb, with a medley of vegetables including tomatoes, peas, carrots, bell peppers, potatoes, and shallots. Olive oil, salt, and pepper are added to enhance the flavors.
To prepare this delectable dish, the ingredients are mixed together and carefully wrapped in parchment paper, ensuring that the flavorful juices remain trapped within. A puncture is made on the top of each parcel, and a brush of water adds moisture before they are baked to perfection in the oven. Once cooked, the Kağıt kebabı is traditionally served alongside fragrant rice and a fresh salad.
Beef or lamb
Cezerye, a delectable Turkish dessert originating from Mersin, is a sweet treat that showcases the natural beauty of caramelized grated carrots. This delightful confection is crafted by combining caramelized carrots with sugar and a selection of nuts, such as walnuts, hazelnuts, or pistachios. However, hazelnuts are the most traditional choice for this dessert. The name 'cezerye' is derived from the Turkish word 'cezer,' which means carrot.
Once the mixture is prepared, it can be shaped into either round balls or flat, rectangular disks. Regardless of the chosen shape, cezerye is often adorned with a generous coating of shredded coconut, adding an additional layer of texture and flavor.
Main Ingredients: Piyaz
Piyaz, a traditional Turkish salad, is a beloved dish consisting of dried beans, parsley, onions, and sumac. While this combination is common throughout most of the country, there is a unique variation found in Antalya. In Antalya, piyaz includes a luscious and creamy sauce made from tahini, lemon juice, and vinegar.
The beans are generously coated with this flavorful sauce, creating a harmonious blend of textures and tastes. Piyaz is typically garnished with chopped tomatoes, sliced onions, hard-boiled eggs, a drizzle of olive oil, and a sprinkle of parsley. It is commonly enjoyed as a side dish alongside köfte and other grilled meats, but it can also be included as part of a meze selection, offering a delightful burst of flavors.
Tantuni, a beloved street food specialty from Mersin, is a tantalizing dish featuring thinly sliced beef or lamb seasoned with Turkish spices and herbs. Typically cooked with onions and tomatoes in specially designed tantuni pans, this culinary delight offers a burst of flavors.
Traditionally, tantuni is served rolled in lavash bread, accompanied by ground sumac and a wedge of lemon for an added tangy kick. Each tantuni chef has their own unique method and secret techniques for preparing the dish, resulting in a varied and ever-changing flavor profile. This adds to the charm and excitement of indulging in tantuni, as every bite is a delightful surprise.
Beef or lamb
Kısır, a timeless Turkish salad, showcases a delightful blend of flavors and textures. It features thin bulgur wheat combined with tomatoes, mint, garlic, parsley, and a tangy element such as lemon juice or sour pomegranate molasses. For those seeking an extra kick, red pepper flakes can be added to spice up the salad.
Regional variations in the choice of citrus flavors exist. Lemon juice is commonly used in northwestern Turkey, while pomegranate molasses takes precedence in the southeast of the country. This adds a unique twist to the overall taste profile of the dish.
Adana kebap, named after the renowned kebab city of Adana, is a beloved skewered meat dish. This flavorful kebab is crafted from a mixture of ground lamb, tail fat, garlic, onion, paprika, and hot red pepper flakes, resulting in a vibrant red hue and a spicy kick.
The seasoned meat mixture is skillfully placed around large, flat metal skewers and then grilled to perfection. Once cooked, the tantalizing meat is traditionally served on a platter atop flatbreads accompanied by peppers and tomatoes. Alternatively, it can be stuffed into pita bread along with a refreshing salad comprised of parsley and red onions.
Red chili flakes
Turkish ice cream, originating from the city of Maraş, is renowned for its unique characteristics. It boasts a remarkable resistance to melting and a dense, chewy texture that sets it apart from other ice cream varieties. These qualities are achieved by incorporating two thickening agents, Arab gum (mastic resin) and salep, derived from the root of the early purple orchid, into the milk and sugar base.
In the Kahramanmaraş region, ice cream specifically contains a higher proportion of salep, earning it the nickname 'kesme dondurma,' meaning 'cuttable ice cream.' This is because the denser texture allows it to be sliced, and it is traditionally enjoyed using a knife and fork.
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