I never thought of Turkey as possessing one of the world’s great cuisines. Countries like France, Italy, Thailand, Mexico evoke fantasies of rich and delicious food. Imagine our joy when we discovered Turkish cuisine.
Like many great cuisines Turkish food is an amalgamation of many influences. From the Asian steppe that is the original home of the Turkmen, it absorbed Greek, middle eastern, and even French and German elements. Combine this richness with fresh flavourful produce and a real passion for food and a great cuisine was born.
Another surprise was the pride Turks put into the preparation of their food. From the smallest Lokanta to the most expensive restaurant the food was almost uniformly high quality. After a few meals we understood why there weren’t a lot of western fast food restaurants.
People have asked us what our favourite food was and we really couldn’t answer. Every meal started with a plate of mezzes, appetizers like haidari (yogurt with mint or dill) patlijan (eggplant salad) and the Imam Fainted (stuffed roasted eggplant) followed by a main course kebap or shish and then dessert. Every meal was a wonderful experience.