3 reasons why Turkish food is considered the best in the world

Of course, we are very biased but during your trip through Turkey, you will be amazed by Turkish cuisine! With its rich flavours, aromatic spices and vibrant ingredients you will have a culinary journey like no other. Here are 3 reasons why we consider it the best cuisine on earth:

VARIETY

Turkey’s food is as diverse as the country’s rich history and cultural diversity.  From the busy Istanbul markets and street food stalls, to tranquil coastal villages where you can savour several courses over several hours, there is a delicious dish to match your appetite, available time, diet, budget and spiciness preference!

INGREDIENTS

The best Turkish food sources the highest quality ingredients from the local area. Due to Turkey’s huge size and geographical location straddling Europe and Asia, this could mean anything from sun-dried peppers (Urfa biber) from the Urfa region in the east of the country, pistachios from Gaziantep or whitebait fish from the northern Black sea coast. Every market is bursting with colour and aroma as you hunt down fresh ingredients for your dish.

SOCIAL FOOD

Turks are social people and this is reflected in the way many of the dishes are eaten. Each dish can be laid out in a buffet style, with meat, fish, salads, rice, bulgur, sauces, dips and other options separated in big portions so that everyone in the group can help themselves. This results in a friendly, easy-going atmosphere where conversation is spontaneous and jokes come thick and fast (often about expanding waistlines)!
Meals are often the times to swap gossip, not just fill the belly. It is the way in which every meal is served on your Go Sail Turkey cruise, leading to the quick-bonding, family atmosphere on board that our Turkey sails are famous for.

Here are some examples of Turkish food that meet the above criteria:

Doner Kebab

Doner Kebab is undoubtedly the best-known Turkish dish worldwide. The name comes from a Turkish word meaning ‘rotating roast meat’, describing the preparation method of this meal. Doner kebab is made of well-seasoned meat, which can include beef, chicken, lamb, or a combination of these options. The seasoned meat is arranged in a conical shape on a vertical rotisserie, where it rotates slowly, allowing for easy slicing and often served with salad, pickled cabbage, chillis and sauces. Doner Kebab is a well-known street food, which means it will be available to buy anywhere in Turkey!

İmam bayıldı and Karnıyarık

İmam bayıldı, a traditional Turkish dish, was popular in Ottoman times. It is made of eggplants stuffed with tomato, onion, garlic, and several spices. Karnıyarık is the meat version of İmam bayıldı, stuffed with minced meat.

The Turkish translation of ‘karnıyarık’ is ‘split belly’, referring to the way the eggplants are cut open to create a pocket for the stuffing. ‘İmam bayıldı’ literally means ‘the imam fainted’ in the Turkish language.

You will most likely find this dish served for lunch or dinner on your cruise with Go Sail Turkey.

Köfte

Kofta, or ‘köfte’ in Turkish is a version of meatballs made of minced meat (usually beef or lamb), herbs and spices, breadcrumbs or rice, and shaped into round or oval patties. Köfte can be grilled, baked, or fried. This dish is very popular in the Middle East, South Asia, and the Balkans. The name originates from the Persian word ‘kuftan’ which in translation means ‘to grind’, describing the actual culinary process.

Stuffed Vine Leaves - Wrapped Dolma

Dolma has its roots in Ottoman cuisine and gets its name from the Turkish word “dolmak” meaning ‘stuffed.’ It features a filling composed of a blend of rice, herbs, flavourful seasonings, and minced meat, all neatly encased in a wine leaf wrapper. Also, it can be made without minced meat as a vegetarian version. There are also different variations of Dolma, wrapped in different vegetable leaves.

Menemen

As the most important meal of the day, this breakfast dish is both delicious and popular. However, it is often served as a main dish, and it is very similar to shakshouka.

Menemen is a colourful dish made of eggs, tomatoes, peppers, onions, and various spices. The combination of fresh vegetables and eggs makes it a nutritious meal option. The cooking procedure is quite simple – onions, peppers and tomatoes diced in olive oil. After they become soft, beaten eggs are added to the mixture and gently mixed.

Meze

Turkish Meze, selection of small dishes or appetizers that are often served as a starter or part of the meal, is popular in the Middle East and Mediterranean. Meze can include many different food options such as olives, cheese, hummus, tzatziki, dolma, falafel, various dips, seafood, and a variety of salads. It is a social and communal way of dining, encouraging conversation and a leisurely pace during the meal. Meze can be found in the culinary traditions of countries like Greece, Turkey, Lebanon, and other regions with a Mediterranean influence.

Baklava

Baklava, a delectable dessert, features layers of delicate filo pastry embracing a generous filling of finely chopped nuts, all harmoniously sweetened with either syrup or honey. The possibilities for baklava fillings are various, ranging from the classic choices of walnut, hazelnut, and pistachio to more indulgent options like chocolate. Renowned for its rich flavours, it stood out as a beloved sweet pastry in Ottoman cuisine. This dessert is extremely popular in Turkey, Iran, Arab countries, and the Balkans.

Now that your tummy is rumbling, think about not just the dishes but the unbeatable location in which you could be savouring them: on board an authentic Go Sail Turkey gulet boat off the coast of the Turkish Mediterranean!

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