The Turkish diet is naturally healthy, all prepared from fresh ingredients that are usually local and in season. It is typically rich in vegetables, herbs and fish. Olive trees are grown in abundance in Turkey and so olive oil is generously used. The simplest restaurant serves a fresh salad of olives, cucumbers, tomatoes and herbs. Street vendors serve the delicious freshly baked 'simit' and mouth-watering mussels served with a squirt of lemon. The South-Eastern part of Turkey is renowned for its tasty kebabs although you can now find a vast variety of these around the country. A visit to Turkey wouldn't be complete without sampling the delights of a 'Meze', a feast of small dishes that are usually served before the main course. This is best accompanied by the national favoured alcoholic drink 'Raki', a clear, anise-flavoured drink that is mixed with water. It is also referred to as the 'lion's milk', you'll understand why after one sip. It is popular to drink this whilst eating some fresh fish, a must do if you're enjoying an evening at a seaside restaurant.
Turkish tea is served everywhere and is extremely popular at all times of the day. Served with 'simit' is truly delicious. The more well known Turkish coffee plays an important part in Turkish society. So much so that there is a popular Turkish saying “Bir fincan kahvenin kırk yıl hatırı vardır” translates to “One cup of coffee is remembered for 40 years”. It has a unique brewing method, brewed in a special coffee pot (cezve) after the raw coffee beans are roasted and milled, it tastes better the foamier it is prepared. It is served in small cups alongside some water and often some traditional Turkish Delight.
There are numerous dishes and specialities that derive from each of the seven regions of Turkey, a visit to this country of such rich culinary history will be sure to leave you wanting more.