Turkish Food, Cuisine & Drinks

It was an absolute joy and honour as Kingsman Estates prepared this blog post on Turkish food, cuisine and drinks. Please take some time to read and dive deeper into how today’s Turkish cuisine came about as well as the general characteristics of our cuisine so you can learn why it is one of the highest regarded cuisines around the world. 

The richness of variety in Turkish cuisine depends on many factors. In short, the diversity in the products offered by the Central Asian and Anatolian lands, the interaction with many different cultures over a long historical process, the new tastes that developed in the palaces of the empires such as the Seljuk and Ottoman have played a significant role in the creation of modern Turkish cuisine we all love to bits today.  

Turkish Cuisine contains examples that can serve as an inspiration for the healthy and balanced diet and vegetarian cuisine, with many dishes and types of food, as well as in terms of its diversity and appropriateness to the taste.

General Characteristics Of Turkish Culinary Culture

Turkish cuisine; It is one of the most developed cuisines of the world due to the fact that the Turks have kept the spice route under control for centuries. Spices are necessary for the seasoning of the meat as well as making the meat long-lasting. Turks, who have had suitable and fertile lands for agriculture, because of farm working and animal husbandry; There is a variety of both vegetable and meat dishes that have been blended with the spices for hundreds of years which resulted in today’s developed Turkish cuisine. 

The characteristics of Turkish cuisine culture, the settled order in Asia and the interactions with the societies on the migration routes during the migrations and the agricultural economic structure have affected Turkish food. There is usually a differentiation in the meals according to the socio-economic levels of the families. In terms of food types, it is possible to be influenced by other cultures and to affect them.

Influence Of Hunting, Agricultural Structure And Migration Culture

Plants were not important in the food of the majority of Turkish tribes. The main food of the ancient Turks was mutton and dairy products. Among these, kumiss (fermented mare’s milk) is not very nutritious, with 2-6% alcohol, but has a refreshing and hunger-relieving feature. Kiz, which provides a very high calorie per liter (450 calories), provided a one-sided diet with fat. In the agricultural economic structure, grains constitute the majority of Turkish food.

Dry beans, or chickpeas, bulgur pilaf and onion have become the symbol of Turkish food. These are the most popular foods, especially in the countryside. While eating at the restaurants on Anatolian roads, we hear the voices of the waiters mostly in the form of “A dry”. No matter how much it is eaten during the military service, no matter how much it is subject to jokes and jokes, dried beans are still an indispensable Turkish dish.

Ottoman Palace Cuisine

Once upon a time, the Turkish tribes, flowing from Asia to Anatolia, carried the rich culture that emerged in the Far East to these lands fermented by ancient civilizations with great skill and enriching them with the materials they bought from every country they passed through. During this movement, of course, they would give the necessary place to the culinary culture.

Thus, they were informed about the duties of the migration convoys in the new homeland, which set out with holy advice such as feed the hungry, clothe the naked, do the destroyed, make fewer people more.

Here, years later, the Ottoman culture that developed in Anatolia and Rumelia and the cuisine and food customs that constitute an important part of this culture were formed, developed and became famous with the historical background of Asian Turks.

Food and Beverages Specific to Certain Times In

In Turkish Cuisine, the types of food, food and beverage prepared at certain times; It is known that its preparation laden with symbolic meanings requires more time and effort than everyday meals. Meals that are specific to certain times are prepared with cooperation called imece.

On days when different meanings from daily life such as engagement, wedding, circumcision, death, religious festivals, seasonal holidays and the month of Ramadan, meals and foods also differ; It is observed that the tables are prepared more carefully and with a wide variety. We can sample birth, wedding and death meals that show a unique structure in this regard:

Relatives, neighbors and acquaintances who come to visit the woman who gave birth bring food and food such as milk, yoghurt, eggs, soup as well as various gifts. In the maternity home, guests are offered treats such as maternity sherbet, milk, dessert and biscuits. Milk and dairy foods, onion, bulgur, lentil, sherbet, sweets, etc. are fed to the puerperant woman with the belief that her milk will increase; Chickpeas, beans and some fruits cannot be eaten as they are considered objectionable, and cold water cannot be drunk.

In wedding meals, there is rice, a vegetable dish depending on the season, dried beans or chickpeas, compote, along with a meat meal. At wedding tables where noodle and yoghurt soups take place as soups; Keskek, rice and meat dishes are common in almost every region. Dessert includes halva, zerde, rice pudding or baklava on wedding tables.

In addition to rice and vegetable dishes, there are also a variety of dishes for funeral meals. In some regions, the meal given to the people who prepared the grave is called “digging clacking”. Although it varies according to the regions, neighbours and acquaintances bring food to the funeral home for 3 or 7 days, and the food is not cooked in the deceased person’s house. Making flour halva and distributing it on the day the deceased leaves the house; On the 3rd, 7th, 40th and 52nd days, the tradition of reading the Mevlid and offering food or food continues.

Kitchen, Pantry and Tableware

Table cloths (dest-i huns), one of the leading tools of our traditional kitchen culture, were laid in the middle of the room, and a tray and dinnerware were placed in the tray, and there were small floor cushions around the table cloth. Sometimes a specially made small wooden table 20-30 cm high was placed on the table cloth and the table was formed by placing a tray on it. Table cloths have been replaced by table cloths made of nylon.

The cellar is a part of the house that contains 7 – 8 months old grain. In particular, bulgur for pilaf and meatballs, soup keskeklik (kendmeme), lentils, bean lovic and chickpeas, local large cubes or honeycombs made of red soil with their mouths covered with white and embroidered covers; In rows of rows of glazed green tiles, flour, molasses, honey, cheese, tomato paste, pickles; Fats in cubes, roasts, minced meat, tarhana; things such as mash and noodles are large reed baskets, vats for brine and vinegar; There were hanging hangers for onions, garlic, vegetables and fruit dried, bottles for liquids, sandboxes for storing fruit, and tandoori bread on the bread swing hanging from the ceiling in the cellar.

Until recently, kitchens and cellars were intertwined in cities as well as separately. Kitchen and cellar coexistence continues in most of the village and town houses.

Food types

The food varieties made in traditional Turkish cuisine are first seen together in a cookbook published in 1844 under the name of Melceü’t-tabb. Mehmet K’mil, one of the teachers of Mekteb-i Tıbbiye-i Şahane, prepared this cookbook in twelve chapters.

  • Soups
  • Kebabs
  • Stews
  • Pans
  • Pastries
  • Pastry desserts
  • Milk desserts
  • they pressed
  • Olive oil and milk stuffed dolmas
  • Rice
  • Compliments
  • Desserts and drinks to be eaten before coffee.

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