More delicious Turkish foods to love. Soups are a mainstay in Turkish cuisine, and because of this, there is an infinite variety of soups available. Soups accompany most meals, and there are even types of soups that are designated as winter and summer soups. In wintertime, few meals coming out of a Turkish kitchen do not include soup.
Almost all meals that come out of a Turkish kitchen usually start with a thin soup called corba. Names of soups are usually derived from its main ingredient. Some of the most common types of soups are lentil (mercimek soup), yogurt corbasi, or a mashed wheat version called tarhana corbasi. In addition to these well-known soups, there are specialty soups such as Iskembe and paca corbasi soups, the last one was often eaten as a healthy winter meal.
There are many soups that are essential to Turkish cuisine. They can be made of anything from vegetables to meats. Tuzlama is a tripe soup. The names sound exotic, as is their tastes. Sulu köfte, Ezogelin soup, Analı kızlı soup, Yayla çorbası, Erişte aşı, Buğday aşı/Ayran çorbası (served cold), Corba, Domates çorbası (tomato soup), Düğün çorbası (wedding soup), Ekşi Aşı, Ezogelin çorbası, İşkembe çorbası, Keledoş, Lahana çorbası (cabbage soup), Mahluta, the list goes on seemingly forever.
Meat, Poultry, and Seafood in Turkish Dishes
In the case of meats, in Turkish dishes, there was a time where it was only consumed during the religious holiday of Eid ul-Adha, or at weddings. But since meat production has grown to an industrial scale, meat has become part of many modern Turk’s diets. There was a time when veal was almost never eaten. In modern times, it’s eaten by many.
Rather than serve as a main dish, as is often the case in Western cuisine, Turkish cooking of meat usually uses it combined with vegetables like beans (fasulye) or spinach (kiymali ispanak) which is occasionally served with yogurt.
Unsurprisingly, Turkish dishes along the many coastal towns and cities rely heavily on seafood, usually fish. Sardines (sardalya) and anchovies (hamsi) in these towns are cheap and plentiful. Many other types of fish are available, depending on the location and season.
Whereas modern Turkish dishes include a significant portion of both chicken and eggs, consumption of milk-fed lamb is almost nonexistent. Lamb was once an important ceremonial food. It was eaten roasted over an open fire(Kuzu çevirme) all over Turkey. Nowadays, it’s rarely eaten.
Typical Meals Coming out of Every Turkish Kitchen
Even in humble homes, most Turkish meals have several courses. They almost always start with soup, again, especially in winter. The soup is usually followed by a vegetable dish cooked in olive oil, and often including some ground meat. Legumes are extremely popular for this course. Then comes either rice, pasta, or bulgur pilaf. This course is often accompanied by a salad or a diluted cold yogurt dish called cacik. Cacik is usually made with cucumber, garlic, and salt.
In summer, frequently people eat a vegetable dish, cooked with olive oil, often served cold. It can be served either before the chicken, meat, or fish main course or after.
To offset the warm Turkish summer, Turkish dishes often consist of potatoes with yogurt or tomato sauce or fried vegetables such as eggplant. The egg-based dishes menemen and çılbır are common summer meals. Other summer meals consist of sheep cheese, cucumbers, tomatoes, melons, and watermelons. All of these are eaten in summer because they are considered light meals.
A Fruit Lover’s Paradise
With Turkey’s wide variety of geographies, climates, and conditions, Turkish dishes have rich and diverse flora, and the variety of fruits is varied, abundant, and cheap. Since the times of the Ottoman empire, the fruit has been frequently accompanied the meat. Delicious figs, grapes, apples, pears, pomegranates, apricots, plums, and many types of citrus are common in Turkish dishes. Many of the famous dishes like Dolma and pilaf both usually have either currents or raisins. Anyone who hasn’t experienced the many varieties of Turkish desserts is truly missing out on some amazing and delicious specialties.