Turkey! We’re not talking about the dry, slightly bland bird traditionally served on Thanksgiving or Christmas. Think juicy köfte, crispy lahmacun, savory börek, syrupy baklava, delicious dolma, traditional döner kebab, and who could dare speak of Turkish delights and leave out actual Turkish Delight (also known as lokum)?
Tongue tied? Well, get ready to seriously tempt your taste buds with these seven mouthwatering Turkish delights that will have you packing your bags and boarding the next flight to Turkey…..drool…..
Also known as the Turkish meatball, this delicious ball of ground meat (normally mutton, lamb or a mix of both) is mixed with bread crumbs, onions, and delicious spices. Köfte comes in all shapes and sizes and is served in a variety of dishes but most commonly Izgara Köfte, where it is served alongside grilled green peppers, crumbled and dried red peppers, finely chopped parsley, and rice and/or bread.
Lahmahuh? Don’t be confused by its name. This dish is simple, delicious and, when translated, means “meat with dough”. More specifically, it’s a round piece of dough that is topped with minced vegetables and meat (normally lamb or beef) as well as tomatoes, onions, parsley, a variety of spices and then baked. Think of it a as a spicy Turkish pizza sans the cheese…yummy!
This scrumptious savory pie filled pastry is made of layers of thin, flaky filo dough stuffed with cheese, meat, vegetables (or all three), baked in a large pan then cut and folded into specific shapes based on the type. The most common variety of Börek is called Su böreği and contains a mixture of feta cheese, parsley and oil throughout the layers, finished off with a buttery top. This delicious treat is common street food in Turkey. Eat it for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or all three.
This famous, sweet, rich, soft, and crunchy pastry is made with layers of flaky filo dough filled with chopped pistachios and tons of ooey gooey honey goodness. Need we say more?
A stuffed vegetable dish literally means “something stuffed”. These delicious little treats are normally wrapped in grape or cabbage leaves and stuffed with vegetables such as tomato, peppers, onions, zucchini, eggplant, garlic, and sometimes even meat. Vegetable dolmas are served cold while meat dolmas are served warm. Most are served with a lemon or garlic yogurt sauce.
Don’t accept the dirty imitations, this baby’s your real deal. A common fast food in Turkey, The Döner is a dish of crisp meat shavings, traditionally lamb but sometimes a mixture of beef, chicken or veal. The meat is slowly cooked on a vertical rotisserie then thinly sliced and served as a sandwich – wrapped in a pita or lavash bread with tomatoes, pickled cucumbers, sumac and chili, or on a plate – with a side of grilled peppers and pilaf rice. YUM.
Actual Turkish Delight
This sweet confection (also known as lokum) was too good not to include. These small square pieces of chewy goodness are made with a variety of chopped nuts or fruits such as pistachios, hazelnuts, walnuts or dates that are bound in a base of gelatin, starch and sweet, sweet sugar, then topped with a dusting of more sugar or a layer of icing sugar. They are traditionally flavored with rosewater, cinnamon, mint, mastic, Bergamot orange, or lemon.