Information about Turkish Food, Turkish Cooking
and Turkish Recipes
down for Turkish Recipes
Turkey Featured Ingredient |
Turkey Speciality Dish
Cooking by Country Main Page
is officially classed as being in both Europe and Asia. The Bosporus and the Dardanelle
straits separate a small portion of the country (bordered by Greece
and Bulgaria to the west in Europe) from mainland Anatolia which has borders
with Georgia, Armenia, Syria, Iraq and Iran (Asia) to the east.
climate ranges from temperate to extremes of heat and cold which enables a
varied range of fresh produce to be cultivated, from tea in the cooler north to
chili peppers in the south. The staples are rice and wheat and whilst it is a
secular society, with most of her population being Islamic, Lamb and chicken are
the main meats with little pork being consumed.
Times and Influences on Turkish Cooking
has a long and rich history. Most of us will have heard of the Ottoman Empire
(1299-1923), however well before this the Hatti (Hattians) who were the
indigenous people in Central Anatolia circa 2500B.C. were one of the leading
civilizations of the world at that time.
so much coastline and varying climatic conditions, Turkey has always had an
abundance of fresh produce and fish, making for a varied diet. The basis of
current day Turkish cuisine was established in very early times. Wheat was
cultivated as far back as the nomadic period, and the practice of cooking meat
on skewers (kebabs) and the use of dairy products also dates back to this time.
it is perhaps during the Ottoman era that Turkish cuisine developed the most. By
the l7th century the Sultan's palace housed around thirteen hundred kitchen
staff with hundreds of chefs amongst them. It was these chefs who refined and
perfected Turkish cuisine in an effort to please the royal palate. Literally
hundreds of dishes were created during this period.
geographical location made it a natural route for traders, travelers and
migrants who all influenced Turkish cuisine. For instance certain Turkish habits
such as using sweet spices, fruit and nuts with meats is reminiscent of North
African cooking and with the Sultan having complete control over The Spice Road
many spices and seasonings were added to flavour traditional dishes.
Day Turkish Cuisine
mentioned above, Turkey is blessed with a very wide variety of fresh produce. It
may be this factor which is stemming the advancement of "fast foods".
climatic and geographical differences within the country also heavily influence
regional cooking, from extreme heat in the south-east where the food tends
to be more spicy and meat dishes such as kebabs are common, to temperate fertile
zones to the west where seafood and olive oil are frequently used ingredients.
Then there is the eastern region with its long cold winters where dairy produce,
honey, cereals and meat are popular.