One of my favourite, quick, simple and most importantly – cheap, lunchtime snacks in Turkey is tost. Not to be confused with British toast, the type served with butter and jam, Turkish tost is a Turkish bread sliced down the middle, stuffed with delicious fillings, cooked in a heavy iron press and served with a side of spicy, hot pickles. Yum.
The most popular is a mixed tost, or “karışık tost” in Turkish, which is a toastie with cheese, sucuk (spicy Turkish sausage) and usually tomato too. My favourite is just a plain, simple cheese and tomato one. In Berkay’s village we had one with scrambled egg, sucuk and cheese in – some people put salca (tomato puree) and mayonnaise in too.
The only downside to how delicious they are, is how unhealthy they are, it’s a bit of a carb overload, eating half a small loaf of bread in one sitting, and the bread is usually covered in butter on the outside too so it can be rather greasy. Delightful though!
A Turkish döner kebab is nothing like the ones you’ve come across in the UK. I’ve never had a lamb one, but chicken döner is one of my favourite fast foods!
The name relates to the way the seasoned meat is cooked slowly on a vertical rotisserie. As the outside layers of meat get cooked, they are carved off and served. There are various ways the meat is served – over rice with salad, in a wrap (dürüm) or in a half-bread like a sandwich (yarım ekmek). We usually get the half-bread – the perfectly cooked chicken is shaved off and put inside along with onion, tomato and lettuce.
It’s served with a side of pickled hot chili peppers. The English in me means I sometimes order chips, cover them in salt and vinegar and stuff them inside too!