Some of the most famous Turkish dishes are sis kebab, sis kofte and doner kebab. These dishes, made with fresh lamb or beef, are grilled with onion and other vegetables. Fish and rice pilaf are also popular. Other well-known dishes are cerkes tavugu, fresh pounded chicken and walnuts, and sigara boregi, cheese and spinach-filled deep-fried pastries.

At breakfast, people usually eat bread with jam, butter or honey, and drink tea. Lunch and dinner may include soup, rice, vegetables, macaroni, stews or salads. Formal Turkish meals often begin with appetizers called meze. For dessert, people usually eat fresh fruit or a pudding made with milk. Rich cakes and pastries are most often eaten as snacks with Turkish coffee. Turkish Delight (lokum) is a popular sweet.

Dinner is a family affair. Traditionally the dishes are served on a large tray, which is placed on a low table or on the floor. The family sits on cushions and pillows on the floor around the tray. In Turkey, it is believed that it is healthier to eat when sitting on the floor.

The most popular drinks are tea and ayran. Ayran is a mixture of water and yogurt with a pinch of salt. Turkish coffee is often served as a special welcoming drink for guests. Boza is a traditional drink made from fermented bulgur wheat. In the past, boza sellers called bozaci used to walk the streets in towns and cities, selling the drink.

The staple diet for people in rural areas is bread, eaten with onions, yogurt, olives, cheese, and occasionally pastirma, a dried spicy meat. Fresh fruit, vegetables, meat and fish are widely available in Turkey's villages.

 Did you know?
Turkish Delight, a dessert, really does originate from Turkey and is called lokum.

    Turkish Coffee

1 heaping teaspoon ground coffee
Sugar to taste
75 ml cold water


Place coffee and sugar in a small cezve (a pot with long handle, preferably brass, copper or enamel), add water and mix them together. Cook on a very low heat stirring occasionally until the froth on the surface starts rising. Pour a small amount of froth into a cup. Return pot to the heat and bring to a boil. Pour remaining coffee into the cup until it reaches the brim. Do not drink the thick residue of ground coffee at the bottom of the coffee cup.