Why Turkey Is The Ultimate Holiday Destination For #Foodie Couples

Famous for a broad range of flavours, including fresh fish, olive oil, yogurt, garlic, mint, dill, rose water, and pistachio, there are distinct culinary combinations that you will only find in Turkey.

If you and your significant other are firm foodies who love exploring tastes and smells from other countries, Turkey is a fantastic place to visit for a week or two of pure indulgence. Here are some seductive Turkish delicacies to whet your appetite.

1. Baklava


A favourite of both Turkey and Greece, baklava has gained popularity in recent years, with help from The Great British Bake Off, Jamie Oliver and Mediterranean stalls at farmers markets all over the country. Baklava is created in huge pans with layered filo pastry, nuts, and butter. Once baked until golden and crisp, this tray of pastry is cut into bite-sized pieces and soaked in copper honey (or syrup), which is then flavoured with floral rose water or orange blossom. Ground nuts, such as smoky pistachios, are used to garnish this moreish morsel.

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2. Lokum (Turkish Delight)


In 19th century England, lokum was considered an exotic delicacy from the East, and was given as a decadent present (amongst the upper classes), wrapped in silk handkerchiefs. This confection is made with a meltingly soft starch gel and sweet sugar, but is often filled with crunchy nuts and flavoured with rose water. These small cubes are dusted with icing sugar and are a popular treat or snack in Turkey.

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3. Meze


Often used as snacks to have with alcohol, or a pre-meal appetiser, meze is a delicious array of small dishes that can be combined and sampled. You will often find olives, cheeses, toasted vegetables, yogurt, dolma, falafel, and hummus, along with many more meze dishes. Just don’t fill up on meze before the main meal (it’s easily done)!

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4. Pide


Pizza boats. Yup, pide is effectively a thin pizza, with the corners turned up, to make a boat-shaped meal that is easy to hold and packed with baked cheese. This is convenient, no-frills street food at its best, and pide comes with a variety of toppings, which is perfect if you are exploring Turkish bazaars all day and you need something to satiate your appetite.

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5. Kofte


These quick-to-make lamb meatballs are a great Turkish appetiser, and non-meat eaters will be pleased to hear that a lentil version of this dish is also very popular in Turkey. This is usually served with plain rice or salad, and each rich bite is packed with flavour.

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6. Kunefe


This glorious dessert is a must-try – shredded filo pastry, filled with gooey cheese, baked in golden honey, and garnished with ground pistachios. And do you know the best thing about Kunefe in Turkey? Even though it’s considered a dessert, it’s also completely normal to eat this for breakfast!

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7. Lahmacun


Another pizza-like meal, lahmacun is a flatbread that is baked with minced meat and vegetables. Sometimes, it is also served with an assortment of pickles, tomatoes, peppers, lettuce, onions, and sweet, roasted aubergine.

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8. Kebab


In Turkey, you’ll find that any excuse for a barbeque is embraced wholeheartedly. Kebabs are a firm staple in the Turkish diet, and they are traditionally made from tender lamb. Either served on a skewer, or in a flatbread with salad, kebabs are fairly versatile, and completely delicious. Oh, and absolutely nothing like what you see tipped on UK streets after a Saturday night!

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9. Manti


Maybe not what you’d expect to see on a Turkish menu, yet exceedingly popular, manti are Turkish dumplings, usually containing a spiced meat mixture. To serve, manti is coated in mouth-watering, creamy, garlic yogurt and tangy red pepper.

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10. Dolma


Dolma is usually stuffed vegetables (peppers are common) or grape leaves. The stuffing doesn’t always include meat, but will normally include rice (or another grain), onion, and herbs. Meatless dolma will often use raisins, nuts, or pulses.

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11. Turkish Coffee

Turkish Coffee

Turkish coffee famously packs a punch. This strong, thick drink matches perfectly with lokum or baklava, and will give you a tremendous buzz. If you like your coffee, you’ll want to try this bitter beverage.

Fortune telling often goes hand-in-hand with drinking coffee in Turkey, so don’t be surprised to see people turning over their mugs and looking at the ground mush at the bottom. Some cafés will also tell your fortune for you!

Have you tried any of these dishes/drinks, or do you have something you’d like to add to the list? Let us know in the comments below.

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