23 Aralık 2013 Pazartesi

Turkish Foods


In Turkey, grilled meat patties, called "köfte" (koeuf-TAY'), are a national favorite and the single most popular dish prepared with ground beef, one of the most common ingredients in Turkish cuisine.

Köfte comes in all shapes and sizes and features different mixtures of ground beef, lamb or chicken mixed with spices, bread and egg, before it's grilled, pan-fried, stewed or broiled.

In Turkish, "köfte" is actually a general term that refers to any food shaped by hand into a patty, ball or cylinder. Use of spices, ingredients and cooking methods vary greatly across the country, making köfte an important example of Turkish regional cuisine.


Lahmacun, also known as 'Turkish pizza', is a spicy Turkish/Middle Eastern dish consisting of a ground meat/vegetables/spice mixture, spread on a very thin bread/cracker-like crust. Although lahmacun may look somewhat similar to Italian pizza (and is referred to as Turkish pizza outside of Turkey), their tastes are completely different. Lahmacun is spicy, the dough is very thin, there is no cheese and it's main ingredient is the ground meat. Lahmacun is especially famous in the Southern and Eastern parts of Turkey where it's traditionally eaten with salad and lots of red hot pepper flakes! 


Kebap together with döner, this is probably the first street food that comes to any tourist’s mind when asked to name one. Kebap actually means small pieces of broiled or roasted meat — generally cow, sheep or chicken. Excellent dishes you may want to try out are İskender Kebap, Adana Kebap, Patlıcan Kebap and Şiş Kebap.


Döner this tightly packed meat roasted on a large vertical spit is the basis for fast-food snacks (or even full meals) such as Pilav Üstü Döner, İskedender and Dürüm. Although you can find these half-outside/half-inside eateries almost anywhere, for the biggest concentration head to the beginning of Istiklal Caddesi in Taksim.


Börek a flaky pastry consisting of several thin layers, often with a specific shape and/or filling. You’ll see locals entering these tiny shops for a quick breakfast or lunch. Among my favorites are ıspanaklı börek (with spinach filling), peynirli börek (with cheese filling), kıymalı börek (with minced meat filling) and patatesli börek (with potato filling). If you prefer it rather plain, you can’t go wrong with su böreği.


Pide a slightly leavened, flat pizza like bread. They again come in different styles, with Kaşarlı Pide (melted cheese) and Sucuklu Pide (melted cheese and spicy sausage) among the most popular.
Lahmacun – a Turkish-style pizza. A very thin round piece of pide, with ground meat, onions, pepper paste, sometimes tomato, pepper, parsley, and spices. It is often served with a salad and a few pieces of lemon in a side dish. You’ll see locals topping the pizza with the salad, sprinkling is with lemon and making a roll out of it.


Mısır freshly boiled or grilled corn on the cob, often sprinkled with salt or spices. This popular snack is almost exclusively sold during the summer months by the real street sellers with their push-cars.
Kestane – due to the lack of corn in winter, the street vendors mentioned above shift to roasted chestnuts in winter time.

Balık Ekmek 

Balık ekmek literaly translated ‘fish bread’. And that’s basically what it is — fish, grilled or fried in front of your eyes and stuffed inside a large piece of bread. Fans of this fast-food can have a blast in Eminönü, on the shore next to the Galata Bridge.


Dürümis one of the most democratic Turkish culinary inventions. Why? You’re just as likely to encounter it on a street corner as you are at the fanciest of restaurants. Whether it’s the chicken, beef, cheese or veggie variety you prefer,this meal in wrap form is sure to set you free from your hunger pangs. 


Tantuni A close relative of the dürüm, tantuni features beef, tomatoes, peppers and a generous sprinkling of spices wrapped in the thinnest tortilla imaginable. It usually comes in spicy and less-spicy versions, though most Mersin natives (the hometown of tantuni) believe it’s not the real thing unless it leaves a burn on your lips.


Kumpir The ultimate baked potato goes by the name kumpir in Turkey, with Ortaköy being the most popular area in the city to eat it. As soon as you see the row of kumpir sellers, each trying to beckon you to their particular display, you’ll know you found the right place. With a myriad of toppings like kaşar cheese, sosis, corn, mayonnaise salad, peas and carrots, the possibilities are endless and the combinations infinite when it comes to kumpir.

Tavuklu Pilav 

Tavuklu pilav, ever thought you’d eat chicken and rice on a street corner? Probably not, but in Istanbul, that counts as lunch for a greater number of people than you’d imagine. It’s fast, hot and filling. It’s easy to spot the men selling it in glass-covered carts around town, but locals swear that there’s something special about the cart located right in front of İstanbul Manifaturacılar Çarşısı in Unkapanı.


Simit a crisp, ring-shaped, savory roll covered with sesame. Sold by street sellers with glass-fronted push-cars. There are two main versions: sokak simit (sold on the streets and very crispy) and pastane simit (sold in shops and softer).


Achma a ring-shaped savory bun — a Turkish-style dougnut if you will. It’s soft but also a bit oily.


Poğaça flaky, savory pastry. You can go for the plain one (sade) or choose one with a filling: peynirli (cheese), kıymalı (minced meat), or my personal favorite — zeytinli (black olives)

Çiğ Köfte

Çiğ Köfet originally a dish made of raw ground meat, pounded wheat and red pepper. It’s a delicacy, but now only found at home. Commercially sold çiğ köfte is no longer allowed to contain raw meat, but it’s still something you should try out.


Street vendors selling corn in the summer, mostly shift to roasted chestnuts in winter time.

Midye dolma – stuffed mussels. If you’re a fan, you may want to prefer eating those in a real restaurant.

Uykuluk - sweetbread and other soft glands of lamb, grilled on charcoal, and especially popular in the European Side.

Sucuk Ekmek - sucuk served in fresh crusty bread as a sandwich

Islak Hamburger

Another tipsy choice, this translates as ‘wet’ hamburger as it’s dipped in tomato sauce. This small burger is steamed for hours and the result is a very moist and succulent snack, noticeably more appetizing in the early hours of the morning.

Kağit Helva (Wafers)

This round wafers are called kağit helva. which can literally translated as paper helva. A favorite taste amond the children, kağıt helva can be filled with ice cream or eqaten plain.

Turşu and turşu Suyu - (Pickles)

Pickled vegetables are very popular in Turkey especially during the winter season. Most of the households make their own pickles as a preparation winter. For companion for many Turkish food, pickles are also outside of the houses. Sold at street vendors and small shops, diffirent kinds can be found all around Istanbul. Not only pickles, but also turşu suyu, pickle juice and drand by many.

Pamuk Helva / Cotton Halva

Also calles as candy floss, this street taste is undoubtedly one of the most popular street foods especially between the kids. Well-knon around the world, this colorful cloud shaped candy is a form of spun sugar. In past made by street vendors with a simple machine, today the candy floss are maufacturated and packed than sold by vendors. A nostalgic street food for many, cotton candy is the cheapest way to add some color to a day.


Savoury hand made and hand rolled pastry, with a selection of fillings, grilled on a sac top.


Lokma a sweet summer specialty, sold on carts.

Işkembe Soup

Not for the squeamish (or, arguably, sober), this is soup made from tripe, butter, vinegar, and garlic, and is the meal of choice at the end of a night of hard partying.

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