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unique foods & drinks

Ezine peyniri: Ezine cheese, mostly produced around the regionwith the same name in Çanakkale, can be made using cow, goat, orsheep’s milk. It’s eaten for breakfast and dinner, and is often paired withmelon or added to salads.

Kars kaşarı (peyniri): Kars kaşarı is a hard, aged cheese that is made in the region ofnortheast Turkey, near the city of Kars. The cheese is usually 90% cow milk and10% sheep milk. 

Van otlu peyniri: Vanherbed cheese comes from the southeast region around Van and is usually madeprimarily using sheep milk. There are 25 different herbs that can be used inthis cheese.

Kaymak: Thisthick clotted cream generally accompanies something sweet, usually honey. It’sa staple on the breakfast table but can also be found in various desserts. Thebest kaymak is made using the milk from water buffalo. 

Pekmez: Thisthick syrup of grape molasses often accompanies tahini on the breakfast table.Though usually made from grapes, pekmez can also be made from mulberries,plums, apples, pears, pomegranates, and carob.

Tahin: Tahini isa paste made from ground sesame seeds that is common in Turkish cuisine. It’sused in hummus as well as in desserts, and can be combined with lemon juice andoil to make a dipping sauce or a dressing. 

Pestil: This is afruit leather that is made by pounding fruit into a thin layer, which is thenleft to dry. It’s most commonly made with apricots. 

Pastırma: Thisdried cured beef is usually served in thin slices and has a distinct saltedflavor. It’s often further cured with a paste made of garlic, fennel seeds, andred peppers. 

Sucuk: ThisTurkish sausage is usually made with ground beef, cumin, and garlic, and can befatty and spicy. It’s most often paired with eggs or vegetables.

Ege otları (Şevketi bostan, turp otu, börülce): Many interesting herbs in Turkish cuisine originate in the Aegeanregion. Popular herbs are mallow, fennel, radish leaves, samphire, thistle,green sorrel, dandelion, and nettle. 

Lakerda: Thissalted bonito dish originates in the Black Sea region near İstanbul and is apopular meze. 

Taşköprü sarımsağı: It is a special type of black garlic which is cultivated in Kastamonu.

Maraş biberi: A specialtype of red pepper, which is grown in Kahramanmaraş, suitable fordrying and turning into dried chili pepper.

Sumak: Thisspice is maroon-colored and has a citrus-like tartness that makes it pair wellwith a squeeze of lemon juice.  

Zahter: Made outof wild thyme or black thyme, zahter (or za’atar as it is more commonly knownin English) grows in rocky terrain and is dried in the sun. Mixed with otherregional spices and often with the addition of olive oil, it is a popularflavor throughout the broader region.

İsot: Isotpepper comes from Şanlıurfa and has a distinct black color andsmoky flavor. It’s used often in lamb dishes, as well as with vegetables oreggs.

Hamsi: The BlackSea’s most famous fish, hamsi, or Black Sea anchovies, are incredibly popularand usually in season in the winter. Hamsi is cooked in many different ways,and is often served cured or fried.

Kurutulmuş sebzeler: Stuffedvegetables are a popular food in Turkey. The most common dried stuffedvegetables are eggplant and red peppers, and they are usually stuffed withrice.

Enginar: Artichokesare often served topped with diced carrots and peas, over oil. They are mostlyin season in the springtime. 

Anason: Aniseseed creates a bold flavor that is most commonly used to flavor rakı,a popular Turkish alcoholic drink. 

Safran: Saffronis a reddish-gold, pungent spice that is most popular in Iran but is also grownin Turkey. It turns most dishes it is used in a pleasant shade of yellow. 

Zeytin: Olives ofall colors and sizes are popular in Turkey. Usually olives are black or green,but sometimes olives are soaked in beet juice to turn them pink. They are aningredient in many Turkish dishes. 

Baklava: Thissweet dessert is made by layering nuts between phyllo pastry and then soakingit in sugar or honey syrup. It’s often made with walnuts or pistachios.

Şalgam: This tart, bright-colored drink ismade with black carrots or turnips and sour and salty brine, and has arefreshing, savory flavor. It can be paired with rakı