Ala Turca Restaurant Turkish Cuisine
Turkish cuisine is renowned as one of the world’s best. It is considered to be one of the three main cuisines of the world because of the variety of its recipes, its use of natural ingredients, its flavours, and tastes which appeal to all palates and its influence throughout Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. The cuisine originated in central Asia, the first home of the Turks, and then evolved with the contributions of the inland and Mediterranean cultures with which Turks interacted after their arrival in Anatolia.
Now… In Cape Town with Ala Turca Restaurant.
Turkish Cuisine, like French and Chinese cuisines, is one of the world’s richest cuisines with thousands of years of history. Notably, some countries or cuisines have a symbolic dish. For example, Italy has pasta, and, France has cheese. But, it doesn’t work for the Turkish kitchen, because of its history, social, and, cultural heritage. Turkish cuisine is nourished by its individual regions, each with their own rich cuisines.
The journey of Turkish food culture has been in continuous development from the past beginning from Central Asia, Seljuk, Ottoman Empire to Republican eras and has excelled. Today, Turkish cuisine has an important place in the world. During the Ottoman Empire, the cuisine survived and developed because of three factors: the palace, mansion, and chefs in Istanbul. The culinary culture of the Ottoman Empire was divided into palace kitchens and public kitchens. The food culture differs from region to region; Eastern Anatolia, Southeastern Anatolia, the Black Sea, Marmara, Aegean, and the Mediterranean have their own particular food culture.
Frequently used ingredients
Turkish specialties include lamb, beef, rice, fish, eggplants, green peppers, onions, garlic, lentils, beans, zucchinis, and tomatoes. Nuts, especially pistachios, chestnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, and walnuts, together with spices, have a special place in Turkish cuisine and are used extensively in desserts or eaten separately. Semolina flour is used to make a cake called revani and irmik helvasi.
MORE ABOUT TURKISH CUISINE
Turkish cuisine is largely the heritage of Ottoman Cuisine, which can be described as a fusion and refinement of Central Asian, Middle Eastern, Eastern European and Balkan cuisines. Turkish cuisine has, in turn, influenced those and other neighboring cuisines, including those of Southeast Europe (Balkans), Central Europe, and Western Europe. The Ottomans fused various culinary traditions of their realm with influences from Levantine cuisines, along with traditional Turkic elements from Central Asia (such as yogurt and mantı), creating a vast array of specialties.
Turkish cuisine varies across the country. The cooking of Istanbul, Bursa, Izmir, and rest of the Asia Minor region inherits many elements of Ottoman courtcuisine, with a lighter use of spices, a preference for rice over bulgur, koftes and a wider availability of vegetable stews (türlü), eggplant, stuffed dolmas, and fish. The cuisine of the Black Sea Region uses fish extensively, especially the Black Sea anchovy (hamsi) and includes maize dishes. The cuisine of the southeast (e.g. Urfa, Gaziantep, and Adana) is famous for its variety of kebabs, mezes and dough-based desserts such as baklava, şöbiyet, kadayıf, and künefe.
Especially in the western parts of Turkey, where olive trees grow abundantly, olive oil is the major type of oil used for cooking. The cuisines of the Aegean, Marmara, and Mediterranean regions are rich in vegetables, herbs, and fish. Central Anatolia has many famous specialties, such as keşkek, mantı(especially from Kayseri) and gözleme.
The difference between Urfa kebap and Adana kebap is the thickness of the skewer and the amount of hot pepper that the kebab contains. Urfa kebap is less spicy and thicker than Adana kebap. Although meat-based foods such as kebabs are the mainstay in Turkish cuisine as presented in foreign countries, native Turkish meals largely center around rice, vegetables, and bread.
Kebab refers to a great variety of meat-based dishes in Turkish cuisine. Kebab in Turkey encompasses not only grilled or skewered meats but also stews and casseroles.