Interesting stuff no.3 – food culture and cuisine

Well having written about a typical Brits abroad breakfast in the last posting, I thought I should (at long last) tell you a little bit about typical Turkish food which is so richly varied and great to explore.

Turkish people are quite passionate about food. Meals at a turkish home can be like a feast as the shot above of a typical breakfast shows. But first some background. It is the diversity and rich flavours of the Turkish cuisine which makes it so distinctive, drawing upon a wide range of geographical conditions as well as cultural and historical influences. The culinary culture of Istanbul, Bursa and Izmir regions draws heavily upon Ottoman cuisine; the Black Sea region uses fish extensively whilst the south east region is famous for its kebabs and dough-based desserts such as baklava and kunefe. In Marmara and the Aegean areas as well as here on the Mediterranean coast the cuisine is rich in vegetables, fresh herbs, and fish with olive oil widely used. Dolma – stuffed bell peppers or courgettes, barbunya pilaki (red bean salad) and deniz borulcesi (seasonal samphire salad) are features of the local cuisine. Follow this link for some interesting background on Turkish cuisine

Breakfast is an important meal in Turkish life. Whilst varying regionally, it tends to be the healthiest meal of the day with a lot of fruit, tomatoes, cucumber, aubergines and peppers along with feta cheese, eggs, olives and honey. There’s always lots of home-made bread, corn bread and simit as well as Turkish sesame donuts or bagels whilst borek (filled flaky pastries) are not so healthy but very popular.

Later meals feature a lot of meat. Kebabs are the main dish with a great variety of cooking methods and are generally served with rice, bulgur wheat and greens. Kofte or meatballs are another meat speciality and there are over 200 cooking variations!

There are also more than 300 varieties of soup in the Turkish culinary life many based on yogurt. Makarna (macaroni) is widley eaten as well as other home-made pastas like eriste prepared with walnuts and feta cheese. Other specialities include mezes (appetizers of course), corbalar (soups), salatalar (salads), pilavlar (rice dishes), borekler (stuffed pastries), pideler (flat breads). Lahmacun is a very popular flat bread covered with a layer of spiced minced meat.

Turkish desserts are mostly milk or dough-based. Sweet pastries like baklava are soaked in syrup  whilst sutlac and keskul are amongst the most popular milk-based desserts.

Finally tea is highy popular at breakfast time or most times of the day to be honest whilst rich coffee is generally taken after main meals. Ayran is a popular cold beverage made from yoghurt, water and salt with mint often added to flavour.

But we really cannot do justice to the rich variety of delicious foods on offer here. You’re just going to have to come to Kisla and Kalkan to sample the rich fare for yourselves. We hope some of these images whet your appetite for a visit….





One of the popular services we offer all our guests is (with suitable notice) to organise a selection of meze and main dishes to be delivered to the villa. Should this appeal just let Karyn, our very helpful local agent, know and she will get some menu choices sorted for you.


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