Turkish food and drink – 02 Aug 2007

Turkey is renowned for its food, which has made its mark on almost every high street in the UK.

But the kebab is just a small portion of what Turkey has to offer.

In fact, meze is probably the most frequently consumed meal in the country, consisting of a number of small dishes such as baked aubergine with onion and tomato or stuffed vegetables.

Breakfast has a distinctly Mediterranean flavour with tomatoes, olives, fresh bread and honey, washed down with freshly-squeezed orange juice and plenty of tea.

Turkey is the fourth-largest consumer of tea – though here it is served black with sugar in small tulip-shaped glasses.

Jewel in the Crown Turkey regional manager Esma Cadil said: “Turkish people won’t drink tea out of a cup as they say it doesn’t taste the same.”

The national alcoholic drink is raki which is flavoured with aniseed like the Greek ouzo and Italian Sambuca.

Raki can be mixed with water for slow sipping or served neat in a shot glass for a shock to the system. The Turkish beer Efes is cheap and tasty, and is drunk more often than wine.

Turkish delight is one of the country’s favourite confectionery and it comes in a multitude of flavours – from mint to coconut.

The Middle Eastern sweet baklava is also popular here. The sticky and rich nutty treats tend to be served up after a meze.

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