Popular Turkish Cuisine!

If you think of Turkish food, the first thing that probably comes to mind is kebab. There are so many different kinds, no one could blame you for trying as many as you have time for. Döner kebab — lamb sliced off a rotating vertical spit — is eaten hot, wrapped in pita bread, with the juices running down your chin in the street. Other types of kebabs include chicken, beef, and fish kebabs. While we love kebabs, we want to share with you some other traditional Turkish dishes that are very popular.   Borek: Borek is a delicious staple of Turkish cuisine. It is typically a flaky pastry (think phylo dough) stuffed with whatever your palate prefers, spinach, meat, eggplant and most commonly feta cheese. The best borek is bought from special borek shops called borekci. You can find the shops on many street corners but the best, and most historical, are in Sariyer, way down along the Bosphorus.   Pizza & Pide: Turkey isn’t famous for pizza but it could be. Reasonably priced, filling and found everywhere “lahmacun” (Turkish pizza) offers the thinnest of crusts, whipped up from scratch and then topped with a variety of topping. But it isn’t eaten flat like an Italian pizza. Make it like the locals, top it with salad, a sprinkle of red chili pepper, a squeeze of lemon juice and roll it up! Pide is a boat-shaped flatbread topped with meat, Turkish sausage, cheese, eggs, or spinach. The Karadeniz Pide Salon near Taksim square offers delicious pide, in various styles according to which area of the Black Sea the recipe comes from.   Kurufasulye—“Dry beans”: The name might mean “dry beans” (something like canellini or haricot beans), but this dish is anything but dry. White beans cooked in a tomato sauce, are transported into flavor heaven with butter and juices from lamb that’s fried off in the pan before the beans are added. Considered to be a national Turkish dish, kurufasulye is served with a white rice pilaf. Turkey is famous for their variety of bean dishes. Another favorite of ours is “Barbunya”, a red bean dish which is especially flavorful!   Manti: A Turkish variation of ravioli, “manti” is a dough filled with ground-meat that look like Chinese dumplings, as the dish originally came to Turkey from Central Asia. A very traditional Turkish dish, manti are served topped with a garlicky yogurt sauce, sprinkled with red pepper, sumac, dried mint, and drizzled with oil.   Turkish cuisine is truly delicious. If you can’t make it to Istanbul, San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York City, and other urban centers have Turkish restaurants you can choose from. Enjoy the gastronomic experience!   Adapted from www.pastemagazine.com Photo by Louisa Thomson CC BY-ND

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