Konya Etli Ekmek is a cross between pide and lahmacun. A thin, flat bread topped with ground beef and peppers, cooked in a stone oven. We had this in Fethiye and aside from the taste, the most impressive thing was the size of the etli ekmek – 1.5meters long!! Served with spicy acılı ezme and salad and all for 10tl (although this was 2 years ago, it may have increased in price since). Despite being so long, it’s quite light since it’s thin. Delicious!
Manti are tiny little dumplings, filled with ground meat, similar to ravioli. Sheets of dough are rolled thinly and cut into small squares, then a small amount of filling is added and the sides pinched together, to form little dumpling parcels. The manti is then boiled and served covered in garlic yogurt with a spicy sauce, made from oil or butter and chili flakes.
Making it from scratch is a lot of effort, so when they decide to make it, women in Turkish villages invite each other around and they’ll sit in a group forming a little production line, gossiping whilst making hundreds of manti for their families.
I like it, as long as it’s not too soggy, but I still struggle with the concept of yogurt on dinner foods!
Adana kebab is a spicy lamb kebab, named after the Turkish city. The meat is minced together with spices and pepper then moulded around a thick, flat skewer and grilled over coals. Usually served with with rice and salad, with sumac to add to the flavour!
I like this dish but sometimes find it a bit fatty/gritty, some are definitely made better than others.
Çıntar mushrooms are a seasonal delicacy in Turkey. November/December are the months when these mushrooms are found in abundance. They grow around pine trees in forest areas, of which there are many in this region of Turkey! During these months you will find random cars parked up in the trees with people wandering around searching for the wild mushrooms. I’ve actually been foraging for çintar mushrooms in Denizli before too and we managed to fill a big bag, it’s quite satisfying when you find them!
The mushrooms are an orange colour and have quite a meaty texture and taste. The only way I’ve eaten them is cooked on a BBQ, and they are delicious!
According to google, the proper name for these mushrooms is Lactarius deliciosus, also known as Saffron Milk Cap mushrooms.
Kokoreç is a popular street food in Turkey – one that I’ve not yet been brave enough to try and I don’t think I ever will!
Kokoreç is made from sheep intestines. The intestines are cleaned then packed onto a large skewer and cooked horizontally over a coal fire, giving it a unique taste. The smell of it cooking is very strong and puts me off even more!
After it is cooked, it is carved off and finely chopped up into pieces then squished in between a half or quarter loaf of bread and eaten like a hot sandwich. Ayran is usually the drink which accompanies this feast!
Kunefe is a popular, authentic Turkish dessert. It’s made from kadayıf (dried shredded dough which looks like shredded wheat) and cheese. It is covered in syrup and eaten straight out of the oven when hot, so the cheese is stringy and gooey but the pastry is crispy. It’s sometimes served with crushed pistachios, like the photo above.
The combination of cheese and syrup doesn’t sound like it would be good together, but it is!
Ok, so not really a ‘dish’ but a Turkish staple food regardless!
Simit is a round bread with a hole in the middle, covered in sesame seeds. It’s kind of a cross between an American pretzel and a bagel, a perfect mix of the two.
It’s perfect with breakfast, or as a quick snack while walking around the streets of Turkey. It’s sold in bakers, corner shops and from little carts on street corners and markets. It’s even sold from trays piled high with the bread, expertly balanced on the seller’s head, while wandering the streets shouting ‘simit!’.
Perfect with a glass of Turkish tea, too!
Funny story – my maiden name is ‘Smith’ and Turkish people cant pronounce that – they always said ‘Simit’ instead!
Sucuk & egg is one of my favourite weekend breakfasts.
Sucuk is a spicy Turkish sausage, made from beef or lamb. It is mixed with garlic, cumin and other spices/seasonings then left to dry for weeks before selling.
It is sliced then fried in oil for a few minutes, then eggs are cracked and mixed into the mixture, or left whole. It is quite spicy and has a strong flavour, so I always chop up some fresh tomatoes and drizzle them with olive oil and eat them along side it, with some fresh crusty bread of course!
It’s often served as part of a big Köy Kahvaltısı (village breakfast).
The only bad thing is how strong it smells – when Berkay cooks it I can smell it for hours afterwards! I love the fancy pans it’s sometimes presented in.
Sütlaç is Turkish rice pudding. There are two types – simple rice pudding cooked on the stove, and ‘fırın sütlaç’ – where it’s put in the oven afterwards to brown off, which gives it a different taste. It’s always served cold and can be flavoured with lots of different things, but usually vanilla. The first photo was a simple banana flavoured rice pudding made by Berkay’s aunt, the ones below are oven-baked rice pudding, vanilla flavoured with coconut on top.
I do like the taste, but the texture puts me off a bit, especially when it has the skin on!
Bazlama is a kind of village bread. It’s big, round and flat. It’s quite heavy and thick, kind of like a cross between a naan bread and a crumpet? I can’t really explain, but it’s really yummy.
My favourite way to eat bazlama is at the gözleme stalls in Fethiye or Calis market. They slice the bread in half and fill it with your choice of filling, cheese is the most popular but I love cheese, tomato and chili flakes. It’s then cooked on a metal plate. It’s like a giant toastie! So delicious and so filling. One whole bazlama is definitely enough for two people and is usually served with salad or pickled vegetables.
Berkay’s stepmum made some bazlama bread from scratch while we were there in September – the family goes through so much bread that it’s cheaper to make their own sometimes!