Modern Turkish Food Culture

The Evolution of Turkish Cuisine - Part 8 Dishes From Turkey :

Modern Turkish food culture. Soups of all types are of great importance to Turkish cuisine.  As can be expected from a food culture that is so diverse, there is a wide variety of delicious soups for every palate. Some of the most important soups that can often be offered in many Turkish kitchens is those which contain meat and. Chicken.  Unlike many Western cooking styles, Turkish cuisine divides these soups into three categories.  They are floury, grain-based, and ground and strained soups.  A special type of soup called Toyga is outside of these categories but deserves a special mention.  It is made from yogurt, hazelnuts, rice, egg, and mint.  If anyone doubts such a unique soup could be a cultural phenomenon, I would like to point out that Tyga has its origins on the plains of the Central Asian plains, and dates back over 1000 years.

There is another amazing soup called arabashe, which is an elaborate chicken soup that has its origins in ancient Arab culture.  To the Western foodie, the names of many of the soups may sound odd, like wedding soup.  But to a Turk anywhere in the world, a mere mention of it brings fond memories.  Wedding soup and tomato soup fall into the floury soup category.

Tutmach, grain soup, strained-ground, rubbed-noodle soup, lentil soup, and vegetable soup all fall into the strained-ground group.  In soups like Tarhana, yogurt, and lentil minced or group d meat is often added to increase the protein and nutritional content.  Many dishes in Turkish dishes are conceived with nutritional value in mind.  Yogurt and rice soup with chickpeas served with a vegetable soup is a delicious, healthy, and balanced meal.

Perhaps what many in the world know of Turkish dishes are based on meats, both raw and cooked.  Some of the dishes that can be found all over Europe and in quite a few American cities are doner kebab, traditionally made from mutton or lamb.  In the U.S. many Americans have has shish kebabs, but few know of its origins in Turkish cuisine.

Instead of just the meat on a skewer like most Americans are accustomed to, in a Turkish kitchen, there is, not surprisingly, quite a variety of doner: fried, roasted, grilled, potkebabs, and more.  In addition to these delicacies, there is an almost endless variety of stews, including fish, meats, and even vegetarian stews.  There are casseroles, meatballs, meat-stuffed vegetable dishes, and even a whole group of meat dishes served with fruits.

In many Turkish kitchens, meatballs are the most commonly cooked meat, and there seems to be an endless variety of recipes.  A common healthy and delicious version in the Mediterranean, Southeast, and Eastern regions mixes ground beef with bulgur wheat and various spices.

With a mind towards healthy foods, it is common practice to mix beef, or bulgar with vegetables, and either baking it or again, stewing it.  Healthy Turkish dishes also contain an endless variety of vegetables either sautéd in olive oil or served with a variety of jerk seasoning, or in a style known as moussaka.

Some of the cooking styles common in Turkish kitchens are vegetables that have been wrapped, stuffed, roasted, baked, fried, sautéd, baked, and steamed, and vegetables are often a main in Turkish dishes.    Common ingredients are zucchini, peppers, eggplants, which are often lightly battered and fried, then served with delicious sauces.  Moussaka combines group beef with fried vegetables, in an unforgettably sumptuous meal.

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