Thursday, 25 July 2013

Turkish Food Haul

So after spending the last two weeks in Turkey, it is safe to say I got a clear image of the Turkish food lifestyle. I think it can be narrowed down to a few words... Fresh, vegetables, fruit and spices. Each and every restaurant have pages and pages of dishes to serve you. 

However, I always looked under the Turkish section, to see what it is the Turkish people eat. I mostly discovered a lot of chicken and kebabs. Each dish is served with tasty rice and a lot of vegetables, including raw arrangements.

I often travelled to the market, excited to see what vegetables they had. I was amazed by the large amount of veg and fruit as well as some very unique and exotic fruit. On my travels I discovered huge plantations of banana trees and would then see many in the local shops and markets. What I loved was that everything was so cheap. This was then an excuse to try out all the the different and unique veg.

The weekly market

Fruit stalls

More displays

I also had the opportunity to eat out quite often. I had many dishes and loved all the restaurants. I had unique dishes, often ordering things I couldn't even pronounce and specials I had never heard of. This was exciting as I had no idea what I was about to eat! 

This was a chicken dish with the signature Turkish rice and salad.

This was a unique dish of beef wrapped in chicken served with Bearnaise and mushroom sauce.

Over the weeks I also managed to pick up a few cooking things which I am excited to try over the next few weeks.

Apple Tea:

This is a very traditional drink in Turkey. Whether you go to a five star restaurant or a small corner cafe, apple tea is guaranteed to be on the menu. It comes in powder from which you add hot water to. It is served in tradition small glasses and often with sugar cubes.

You can find it here

Meat spices:

One day at the markets, I came across a little stall selling traditional spices. Through a very difficult conversation with me, a young girl who didn't have a word of Turkish, and an old man without a word of English, I managed to gather that this is a bag of a mixture of spices that can be used for meat marinades. I have no idea what spices are in it but never-the-less I will be sure to try it out!

Turkish spices and herbs:

I saw these in several shops. What they consist of is a mixture of spices and herbs. They are all from Turkey. Some are traditional whereas some are common all over the world. I also got a strip like this a few years back in Turkey with different spices and I was very happy with them.


A few months back, I was at home watching a Laura Vitale video on YouTube. I noticed that in some of her recipes she uses Vanilin powder instead of vanilla extract/essence. I was curious as to what it was, but never investigated it. However, when I saw it in a grocery shop, I decided to pick it up. 

I have now learnt that it is often used in recipes instead of vanilla essence. It can also be dusted over finished buns/biscuits etc. to give a sugary vanilla taste. 

You can find it here

Tomato spices:

While getting groceries one day I came across this small packet of spices. I am still unsure of what they are! However, some day I will chance sprinkling some on meat and see what the result is like.  These are a tomato-y and basil flavor.

So it is safe to say I picked up a few bits! Noting major, but I do like to try out different cuisines. I hope you enjoyed my little haul. Do you ever buy things abroad as you cant get them at home? Have you tried out anything I have bought? How was it? 


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