The Turkish cuisine (Turkish: Türk mutfağı) today largely comes from a heritage of Ottoman cuisine, which can be described as a fusion and refinement of flavors and styles in Central Asian, Caucasian (Georgian, Armenian, Ossetian, etc…), Middle Eastern, Mediterranean and Balkan cuisines. As, Turkish cuisine evolved from the confluence of all these cultural influences it has in turn influenced those in return and also influenced others, including those in Central and Western Europe.
During their time, the Ottomans fused the various culinary traditions from their realm with influences from Levantine cuisines, along with traditional Turkic elements from Central Asia (such as yogurt and mantı), creating a vast array of unique dishes—many with strong regional associations.
Turkish cuisine varies across the country. The cooking of Istanbul, Bursa, Izmir, and the rest of the Aegean region has inherited many elements of the traditional cuisine served in the Ottoman court. Cook from this region is characterized by a lighter use of spices, a preference for rice over bulgur, koftes, and a wider emphasis on vegetable stews (türlü), eggplant, stuffed dolmas, and fish. The cuisine of the Black Sea Region uses fish extensively, making wide use of the local Black Sea anchovy (hamsi) and while also including a variety of maize dishes. The cuisine of the southeast region including Urfa, Gaziantep, and Adana– is famous for its variety of kebabs, mezes and dough-based desserts such as baklava, şöbiyet, kadayıf and künefe.
In the western parts of Turkey, where olive trees grow abundantly, olive oil is commonly used in cooking. The cuisines of the Aegean, Marmara and Mediterranean regions are rich in vegetables, herbs, and fish. Central Anatolia has also many famous specialties, such as keşkek, mantı (especially from Kayseri) and gözleme.
Often these unique dishes are named after a specific city or region, in or outside of Turkey, and may also refer to the specific techniques or ingredients used in that area. For example, the difference between Urfa kebap and Adana kebap is the thickness of the skewer and the amount of hot pepper that the kebab contains. Urfa kebap is less spicy and thicker than Adana kebap.
We celebrate the many vibrant culinary traditions within Turkish cuisine at Yakamoz. Come join us and enjoy the many flavors and styles that make Turkish cuisine both unique and delicious.