This past summer, I had the amazing opportunity to teach English in Turkey for a few weeks. While I was there, it didn’t take me long to become integrated into their rich culture. I was enthused to learn about their history, traditions, and customs. The Turkish culture is a very hospitable one; I’d run out of fingers counting how many times I’ve been invited to share a meal with someone. That’s why I decided to maintain traces of Turkish cuisine in some of my current meals.
Here are my top 5 Turkish dishes:
1. Dolma (stuffed pepper)
2. Ciborek (fried pita with meat and/or cheese)
4. Baklava (sweet dessert)
I enjoyed Turkish cuisine probably because I found that it wasn’t too distinct from Haitian cuisine. For example, menemen, is simply scrambled eggs with onions, peppers, and tomatoes. When I make scrambled eggs, I usually use the same ingredients too.
Some cool facts about Turkish cuisine:
1. Yogurt is served with many dinner dishes
2. The Turkish enjoy communal eating. They eat from the same salad bowl.
3. Olives are plentiful. You can find them especially at breakfast.
4. Tea is the national drink. The Turkish drink it all day.
5. Sunflower seeds are a common snack.
What to Eat!
With approximately 70 grams of sugar (I’m kidding, but it sure does have a lot!), what’s not to like about baklava. It’s a super sweet pastry dipped in syrup, and sprinkled with macadamia nuts. Yum!
What not to Eat!
I was introduced to Çiğ köfte and was told that it was a popular fast-food dish. It’s a raw meat dish (uncooked lamb or beef) and it’s usually rolled into romaine lettuce. I was not a huge fan of the flavor or texture. Pass!