Turkish food is delightful blend of Turkey’s Asian nomadic past and the popular cuisine of the Mediterranean and the Middle East. Turkey also offers visitors a wide selection of international culinary treats, as well as the standard British and German dishes that are prepared along the coast. Guests that eat Turkish style can actually visit the kitchen and pick what to eat from the simmering pots, if they understand the names of the different entrees. Some restaurants may not serve alcohol, but generally speaking you can have a drink while you enjoy a Turkish lunch or dinner. A service charge is added to all restaurant and hotel bills, but it is still customary to tip 10 or 15% in small cafes and inexpensive restaurants. Taxi fares are rounded up and that is the accepted tip for the driver.
Some of the Turkish specialties include:
Shish kebab, which is grilled meat served on a skewer; Pide, which is a Turkish pizza topped with eggs and cheese; Dolma, which is vegetables or vine leaves stuffed with currants or pine nuts; Kofte, which is spicy minced lamb sausage shaped like meatballs and Lokum which is made from honey, roses, jasmine, dates bound with Arabic gum. Lokum is a Turkish favorite and is regularly used to sweeten the breath after eating or drinking coffee.
The Turks love to drink Raki, which is anisette. Raki is also known as lion’s milk, because it gets cloudy when water is added. Raki is enjoyed with a variety of meze or small appetizers. The refreshing yogurt drink, Ayran, is also a favorite and so is Cay, a black strong tea that’s served in tulip shaped glasses. Another drink that is a staple in Turkish life is the strong black coffee, which is brewed over hot coals and is served sweet. We can’t forget the red and white wines, as well as the Turkish beer.