What I ate in Turkey: A vegetarian’s food guide in the land of Shawarma
Turkey, as we all know is one of the most visited countries by the tourists as it is well known for its scenic landscapes, rich and ancient culture, a history spanning over centuries and warm, welcoming locals. But then there is more to all these for anyone who visits Turkey, that is their succulent cuisine. But, the vegetarians like me need not be disappointed as there are a plethora of options in this country to relish on where shawarma and kebabs are well known. I had a lengthy list of name of the foods that were “must-try” in Turkey and I was lucky enough to sample most of the items from this list. So, read along and know what I loved the most in Turkish cuisine.
Let’s talk about the first meal of the day, that is breakfast or as the locals call it “kahvaltı tabağı” which means the breakfast plate. Turks really enjoy every meal they have but the breakfast according to me is the most lavish one which includes varieties of cheese, olives, bread, honey, jams, fruits and vegetables, börek, omelets, salads, menemen, tahini paste, gözleme, acma. I am a kind of person who loves to start the day with some good food and while in Turkey I loved the breakfast I had every day so much that I was looking forward to it every night when I got into bed.
Your day might get too hectic and busy with running around from one sightseeing place to the other and you may not have enough time to grab a bite. Worry not while you are in Turkey, especially Istanbul as it is filled with tons of options for street food. You will spot loads of büfes, that is a snack shop or carts all over the city selling freshly roasted hazelnut, corns, börek, simit and so on.
Now let’s talk about the main course and desserts. I loved how the simple bean salad and piping hot lentil Corba (soup) tasted that I ordered these every time I found it on the menu of the restaurant I went. While in Turkey if you are craving for some pizza then try the local Pide which is a boat-shaped flatbread with varieties toppings like the vegetable, tomatoes, spinach or just cheese. Also, try the sourly tasting Dolma which is stuffed with a variety of vegetables and wrapped with grape leaves. The famous Pilav rice is another item you can not miss in Turkey.
No visit to Turkey is complete without relishing on their delicious desserts. My first stop in Istanbul before we went sightseeing was a shop selling world-famous Baklavas. The pyramid-like tower of sweet, rich and scrumptious baklavas looked too good to ignore. Lokum or Turkish Delight is yet another world-famous dessert from Turkey which is often made in different flavors mixed with dry fruits and topped with finely powdered sugar.
The Turkish rice pudding is as delicious and creamy as it looks which is a simple preparation made of rice, sugar, milk or water and served in small earthen pots.
With all the delicious food on our plate, we can’t skip on the drinks which are accomplished with these. It’s needless to say that Turkish tea and Turkish coffee are the two beverages you cannot miss there as there are served every place you visit. Enjoy your meal with a glass of frothy Ayran which is super refreshing and healthy yogurt drink.
Hope you guys enjoyed reading this! Do let us know if you have tried any of this food in Turkey and also let us know about the other vegetarian food to try while in Turkey in the comments below..