9 must-try dishes you can't miss in Turkey

Grilled meat kebab, sesame donut simit or yogurt… are attractive, charming dishes of this Eurasian country.

Kebap

This is probably one of the highlights of modern cuisine in Turkey. Kebab is simply meat grilled on firewood served with chestnuts wrapped in paper bags. You can see hawkers selling kebab on Turkish streets even on winter days. The most famous type of kebab is İskender, created by İskender Efendi in 1867. He used sliced lamb, covered with yogurt, tomato sauce and butter to make such dish.

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Simit

Simit is a snack that dates back to the 16th century. The traveling convoys to and from Istanbul brought this donut to Izmit city. This place is the origin of the name simit. Today, simit has just been used in breakfast and is a popular dish on Turkish streets. The snack is special thanks to its golden crispy crust and sesames sprinkled on.

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Yogurt

The Turks love yogurt. They consume more than 2 million tons of this food each year. Originating from the previous millennium from Central Asia, yogurt has been a popular dish in nomadic culture. Today, yogurt is enjoyed separately or added to soups or salads. The most favorite yogurt flavor in Turkey is cold yogurt with a little ayran salt.

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Kahvalti

A Turkish breakfast (kahvalti) is perfect for those who stay up late and get up early. Freshly baked breads served with honey and kaymak (Turkish cream), marmalade, sheep's milk butter, tomato, cucumber and olive oil are the most standard ingredients in a kahvalti. However, each region has its own variation so you should try different ones to choose what you love the most.

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Baklava

The dessert brought here by people in Central Asia gradually became popular in the land of the Ottoman Empire. However, the method of making baklava today is similar to that of Europeans. The current "capital of baklava" is Gaziantep City, famous for its sweet pastry cakes. The cake using dough with honey and milk, with pistachio outside that makes the cake look like a work of art.

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Pide

Pide is also called the pizza of Turkey. It is flat cake, baked in the oven with charcoal. The upper part of the cake has various ingredients such as sucuk (Turkish sausage), smoked beef or chopped lamb. In addition, pide also has butter and some vegetables. The chefs of big restaurants perfect this dish by smashing an egg on top of the cake right after they get it out of the oven.

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Manti

Popular not only in Turkey but also in Poland and Japan, manti is a steamed meat wrapped by a layer of dough. The Italians call this ravioli, in Georgia it's khinkali and the Turks fold it into a dish of manti. This dish comes with fresh tart yogurt, melted butter, chopped herbs and fish.

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Dolma and sarma

Dolma is a dish consisting of rice and meat stuffed with chili, tomato, zucchini, egg before being stewed. Sarma has similar ingredients but is rolled with grape leaves or cabbage leaves. Both dishes go together during meals.

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Kurufasulye

This is a simple dish cooked with beans stewed in tomato sauce to add flavor to the dish. It is also the factor that makes Kurufasulye different from thousands of other bean dishes.

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By: Mithrine Smith

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