When it comes to Mediterranean cuisine, the tastes that come to mind in Turkey are light and healthy dishes made with fresh vegetables. In addition, Mediterranean cuisine also includes dishes made with meat varieties. Still, it can be said that seafood is used more often. The most commonly used by-products in food and drinks in this cuisine are olive, wheat, various spices, yogurt, parsley, sumac, and mint.
Mediterranean cuisine, which is spread over a vast geographical area globally, has a long-established history and a myriad of varieties in itself. The regions that have the characteristics of Mediterranean cuisine throughout the world consist of the Eastern Mediterranean, Southern Europe, and North Africa. Turkey is included in the Eastern Mediterranean region and has a cuisine brought by its Mediterranean climate.
We have already mentioned that one of the most used ingredients when making traditional dishes of Mediterranean cuisine is olives. Thanks to the favorable structure of the Mediterranean climate for growing olives, traditional dishes and drinks of Mediterranean cuisine have established their place among the healthiest world cuisines. One of the main reasons this cuisine is so delicious and so healthy is that there is a lot of olive product use.
Food and Drinks of Mediterranean Cuisine
The ingredients commonly used in Mediterranean cuisine are fresh vegetables, seafood, wheat, and meat varieties. Since a wide variety of herbs grow in the Mediterranean climate, dishes with a predominance of herbs and vegetables are cooked more often. These herbs are also used as spices. Basil, thyme, and rosemary are among the herbs that add unique flavors to Mediterranean tastes. In addition to these unique flavors, spices such as black pepper, red pepper, cumin, pine nuts, mint are also widely used. If you are going to visit Turkey, we recommend that you try dishes made from vegetables and herbs where you can see the effects of Mediterranean cuisine.
One of the dishes that can be included in the Mediterranean cuisine and is often cooked in the Mediterranean part of Turkey is the Hatay Kebab, made in the province of Hatay. In the traditional recipes of Turkish cuisine, kebab-style food cooked on a wood fire is very popular. In this recipe, a mixture of minced meat and spices is pressed into a tray and placed, and tomato pepper is placed on it with the edges and baked in the oven or on a wood fire. You can easily find other kebab varieties in traditional Turkish cuisine in every province and get acquainted with this fascinating taste.
Tahin piyaz (bean salad) is a preferred type of appetizer and is made using tahini in Turkey. For the preparation of piyaz, you will need white beans, some types of greens, such as parsley, tahini, and various kinds of spices. Boil the white beans in a saucepan, put a small chopped tomato, pepper, and egg in it, then tarator sauce mixed with tahini and walnuts is added to it.
Eggplant is one of the most consumed vegetables in the Mediterranean. This vegetable is often cooked as an appetizer and main dish. Therefore, an eggplant dish cooked with vegetables next to it will be the right choice to give an example of Mediterranean cuisine. This dish, cooked with olive oil, is made by cooking diced eggplants with tomatoes, onions, garlic, and various spices.
Garlic, one of the most used ingredients in Mediterranean cuisine, is used in many dishes. Sarımsaklı Köfte (Garlic dumplings) are often cooked in the Mediterranean provinces of Turkey. Garlic dumplings are made by soaking the bulgur, softening it, and turning it into small balls. These balls are boiled, and for the sauce that will give the main flavor to them, the garlic is crushed and placed in a saucepan. Olive oil, pepper paste, and tomato paste are added, and roasted a little, and this sauce is poured on top of the meatballs. It is possible to taste these meatballs, especially in traditional restaurants in Mediterranean provinces such as Hatay and Adana.
Drinks based on Mediterranean cuisine are also very popular in the Mediterranean provinces of Turkey. Zahter tea, rose sorbet, grape sorbet, koruk juice, turnip juice, blackberry syrup, and yılık ayran are the most favorite drinks in the region. In addition, teas made with natural herbs collected in the region are a source of healing for local people in winter and reflect the diversity of Mediterranean cuisine.
Frequently Asked Question
Does Turkey have Mediterranean food?
Turkey mainly inherits its cuisine from Ottoman Empire, which ruled over the Mediterranean Sea for centuries. So yes, it definitely has Mediterranean food.
What is Mediterranean food known for?
Wine, olive oil, garlic, kebab, falafel, pide etc.
What country does Mediterranean cuisine come from?
Egypt, Turkey, Spain, Italy, Greece
What is Turkey’s national drink?
What is the most popular Mediterranean food?
Green Salad, Baklava, Mousakka, Mezze, Kebab etc.