It is said that three major types of cuisine exist in the world: French, Chinese and Turkish. Fully justifying its reputation, Turkish cuisine is always a pleasant surprise for the visitor. In addition to being the refined product of centuries of experience, Turkish cuisine has a very pure quality. The variety and simplicity of the recipes and the quality of the ingredients are guarantees of delicious meals.
Lamb is the basic meat of the Turkish kitchen. Pieces of lamb threaded on a skewer and grilled over charcoal form the famous Sis Kebab. Doner Kebab is another famous Turkish dish, being a roll of lamb on a vertical skewer turning parallel to a hot grill.
The aubergine is used in a wide variety of dishes from karniyarik and hunkar begendi to patlican salatasi and patlican dolmasi. It can be cooked with onions, garlic and tomatoes and served cold.
A delicious Turkish specialty is pilav, a rice dish which can be difficult for the inexperienced cook to prepare. Borek are pies of flaky pastry stuffed with meat or cheese. The delicious Turkish natural yogurt is justifiably renowned. Dolma is a name applied to such vegetables as grape leaves, cabbage leaves and green peppers stuffed with spiced rice.
Turkish sweetmeats are famous throughout the world and many of these have milk as a basic ingredient. These include the baklava and kadayif pastries.
Turkish coffee, ayran, shira, boza and raki are the national beverages of Turkey. The drinking of raki is a rite accompanied by a variety of meze, or hors d’oeuvres, and Turkish music.