Turkish food culture is one of the richest, most diverse, and most amazing cuisines in the world, yet few people know much about it. While almost anyone can name a specialty dish from all of the major European nations, and many other countries like China, Mexico, and even entire areas like the Caribbean, very few people know about Turkish dishes. We are about to change that, and I predict that dishes from Turkey are soon going to be the next star of the culinary world. When it finally receives the recognition it deserves, it will not be going away, and you can say you saw it coming.
An Introduction to Turkish Food Culture: 1st in a 10 Part Series…
Perhaps one aspect of Turkish dishes that makes them so interesting is that it has escaped the attention of the major culinary experts worldwide. This is likely because it has a history that goes back hundreds, sometimes thousands of years, and is a combination of many different cultures.
So naturally, something so diverse and rich can be hard to pin down and specifically define. What we are going to do in a ten-part series is give a brief overview of the history of Turkish dishes and Turkish food culture, then go into the specifics of Turkish recipes, with lots of emphasis on healthy Turkish food and Turkish spices and Turkish condiments. By the end of this series, you should have many new ideas about how you can incorporate Turkish food into your daily and weekly food schedule, adding a whole new dimension of deliciousness into your food life.
Before long you will be speaking some kitchen Turkish, and including some amazing Turkish foods in your daily diet. By following along, not only will you add these healthy recipes, but you will amaze your friends and family with dishes like menemen, imam bayildi , bulgur, Turkish salad, Turkish meatballs, Turkish casserole, Turkish pizza (lahmacun), Turkish pide, Turkish lentil soup (mercimek soup), gozleme, lamb doner kebab, Turkish borek, and many other exotic-sounding and delicious foods. But before we can dive into these scrumptious dishes, we need to find out how
Dishes From Turkey: One of the Most Varied in the Culinary World
Another fascinating thing about Turkish dishes is how often they take a dish from another culture and make it even more delicious. This is what chefs have been doing forever. People take something someone else makes and adds their own spices, herbs, and techniques based on what is available to them. What makes Turkish food so interesting is that it has been at the crossroads of East and West, within the silk road’s traders and dozens of cultures for thousands of years. When Turkish chefs improvised, they had more of a culinary palette than almost any other group of people in the world.
Additionally, the dining habits in Turkey vary throughout history, and even regionally. It seems each village, city, and settlement has its own specialty. Despite all the differences in Turkish society, there are still similarities in this subject. Turks have a long and intricate background, and they possess an amazing culinary culture.
Turkish Food Culture
Turkish dishes sometimes referred to as Ottoman cuisine, are often described as a refined fusion between the Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, Central Asian, Eastern European, and Balkan cuisines.
That some of these food cultures are rather obscure doesn’t help to make Turkish food that much more popular. But actually, Turkish food culture has had a significant influence on the neighboring countries’ cuisines. Turkey is a bridge between the East and West, and the countries that have been influenced by Turkish dishes include those of Southeast Europe (Balkans), Central Europe, and Western Europe, largely because of the influx of Turkish immigrants, who brought many of the food cultures with them.
How Did Turkish Cuisine and Turkish Dishes Escape the World’s Attention?
Most of the foodies and culinarians follow the culinary experts down well-worn trails that explore the cuisines of the same countries that almost everyone is familiar with. Pick anyone off the street, in any country in the world, and ask them what foods are most popular worldwide. In many cases, you will get similar answers.
Depending on which region you ask in, you most likely would hear Chinese, Italian, French, Spanish, or even Mexican, which has lately even been recognized as part of world heritage. There have even been some surprising newcomers like Peruvian cuisine, recognized recently as one of the brightest stars in the culinary world. I’m here to help you find the next newcomer on the culinary scene, Turkish dishes. It is considered by many academics as the third most popular cuisine after Chinese and French. Now, let’s dive in and see where it all began.