Tantalizing tastes in Turkey

by Eche Egbuonu
   
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Turkish cuisine comes in a wide array of delicacies, from Mediterranean olive oil entrées to zesty vegetarian dishes that are so famous, they've been adopted throughout the Middle East. 

The country's ancient palate stretches so far back in history, it's the only place in the world that still serves "Asure pudding", rumoured to be the last meal on Noah’s Ark. Prepare your tastebuds for an unforgettable journey as we explore some dishes you must have on a special gourmet break in Turkey.

Baba Ghanoush

This dish consists of crushed eggplant which is blended with olive oil and a variety of spices. It is frequently consumed as a dip with pita-bread and occasionally used as a supplement to other meals. Baba Ghanoush is a very popular meze (appetizer) in Turkey and you can expect it to be served in most restaurants. For the most authentic Ottoman recreation of baba ghanoush check out the Matbah restaurant in Istanbul. Whilst you indulge in a wonderfully prepared meal, your mind will be transported to a lavish Ottoman palace garden where to enjoy of the best gourmet breaks in Turkey.

If you plan on visiting Istanbul, check out the Hotel Sultanhan. Situated in the city centre it presents guests with a mixture of modern comfort, historic atmosphere and Turkish dishes. During the summer you can dine al fresco underneath the twinkling stars or in the elegantly designed dining room in the winter. The restaurant is open every day for breakfast, lunch and dinner - truly a great destination to enjoy a leading gourmet break in Turkey.

Dolma

In Turkish gastronomy the dolmas are extremely popular. The word dolma has Turkish origins since the word 'dolmak' literally means 'to be stuffed'. There are two main groups of dolma in Turkey, determined by whether they contain meat or not. Common fillings for dolmas include rice, pine nut and onions, as well as countless ingredients from meat to aubergines to zucchinis. Districts around the country prepare this dish differently so whatever your destination you can experience a new style of dolma on your leading gourmet getaway in Turkey.

Dine at the Topaz in Istanbul and indulge in their degustation menus, which provides a modern interpretation of Ottoman cuisine. You'll find the minced meat Zucchini flower dolma, which is served with a lovely yoghurt desert. The views from Topaz are exceptional, with windows running along the entire length of the restaurant which overlooks the Bosporus Bridge. The service is flawless, and the residential French wine steward can recommend international or Turkish wines. Visit the Topaz restaurant as a part of your leading gastronomy break in Istanbul.

Turlu Turlu

For the vegetarian food enthusiast, Turlu Turlu is a dish that will leave your taste buds tingling. Turlu Turlu is a product of traditional Turkish cuisine and is served both as a main course and as a complimentary dish. It is similar to ratatouille, but more savoury, cooked with seasoned vegetables in a tomato sauce which adds a smoky flavour to the dish. An extensive range of vegetables can be used to prepare Turlu Turlu including courgettes, turnips, beetroot and aubergines.

You can dine on this fantastic dish at Albura Kathisma in Istanbul. Drawing on the practices of conventional Ottoman cooking, they have implemented a modern Turkish spin to their menu together with some multi-ethnic favourites of modern international gastronomy. They are open every day of the year and use nothing but the finest quality ingredients in their dishes. Head over to the Albura Kathisma and enjoy a special gourmet getaway in Istanbul.

Kofte

Kofte is a kind of kebab that is prepared with ground meat in the shape of small meatballs or formed around the skewer. There are many different varieties of kofte being served in Turkey. In fact it is so popular that in 2005 a study revealed that there were over 291 different variations of Kofte available in Turkey. 'Izgara kofte' is the version that is cooked on the grill and is considered by many as the best kofte variant.

The Yacht Roof restaurant in the Mugla province is the ideal destination to get a taste of fine Izgara kofte cuisine. Served with rice, potato and salad you will be able to experience the beauty of the Mugla province, whilst enjoying a fantastic dining experience. The international cuisine served at the Yacht Roof Restaurant coupled with the wonderful service will ensure that your special weekend break in Fethiye goes off without a hitch.

Staying at the Hillside Beach club in Fethiye will provide you with quick access to the Yacht roof restaurant along with a beautiful beachfront accommodation. The excellent spa facilities and innovative approach to hospitality make the Hillside beach club the perfect location to facilitate your special gourmet getaway in Mugla.

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