Of course we are all familiar with the Turkish kebab, having face-planted a doner after many-a night out. However, the kebab in Turkey is a more sophisticated affair, with succulent lamb, or chicken served atop pillowy bread and drizzled in yoghurt.
Here are some other local dishes to try…
Menemen The typical Turkish breakfast, which is usually made up of tomato, cucumber, hard-boiled egg, olives, feta and lots of white bread.
Turkish mezze The most common ingredients and flavours you will find in the small plates of hot and cold Turkish mezze include meats lamb, beef and chicken, vegetables aubergine, courgettes, tomatoes, pepper and onions, lots of chopped nuts and beans, and spices including cumin, paprika, mint and oregano.
Kofta Balls or sticks of ground lamb or beef rolled with herbs, spices and onions.
Cilbir Poached eggs with yoghurt and garlic.
Baklava For dessert, tuck into sweet and sticky layers of filo pastry topped with pistachio nuts and drizzled in syrup or honey. Warning: you will only need one or two – it’s much sweeter than the desserts we are used to.
Turkish tea and coffee Turkish tea is served in small glasses, black and sweetened with beet sugar. The coffee is strong and thick and not for the faint hearted. It’s also often served with cardamom, which is an acquired taste.
Known as the national drink of Turkey, Raki is similar to Greek ouzo and Italian grappa – it’s thick with an aniseed kick.
It’s advisable to avoid drinking tap water in Turkey. Bottled water is cheap and widely available.