Turkish Cuisine and Recipes
Turkish cuisine is said to be one of the best in the world, and it is actually a unique blend of Central Asian, Middle Eastern and Balkan cuisines because of the wide span of the Ottoman Empire in history. Turkish food has a simplicity and pureness that produces quality dishes in an astounding variety. These dishes utilize a lot of fresh produce; most commonly spinach, tomatoes, onion, garlic and especially eggplant, which holds a place of honor in Turkish cooking and can be seen everywhere from the familiar Moussaka to the more unusual Karniyarik, where it pairs up with a minced meat mixture. Eggplant can even be made into a jam in Turkish cooking. Meat in Turkish dishes is usually in the form of lamb or minced ground beef, and it is usually combined with vegetables to produce delicious results. Yoghurt is an especially important component of Turkish cuisine; in fact the English word Yogurt is derived from a Turkish word. Yoghurt is essential as an accompaniment to meat and vegetable dishes, and it is also used in pastries, soups, and even Ayran, a Turkish drink featuring yoghurt in a starring role. All of these ingredients make up delicious dishes that are steadily gaining popularity throughout the world.