Turkey is a country where you can not only have a great rest, but also become a real gourmet.
For other people, the spirit of the "junk promenade" is alien, so they plunge into the atmosphere of cultural and gastronomic joys with great pleasure and run away from the dusty closeness of Turkish shops, from the stench of not always well-dressed leather and intrusive advertisements, as well as from eateries where they cook ishkembe-chorbasy - a smelly soup from any offal boiled in milk or yogurt. This soup is not very popular among tourists, and not all locals prefer it. It is believed that this dish is for their workers who want to eat their fill, quickly and inexpensively. By the way, if someone still managed to overcome the bowl with this food, which is regularly flavored with garlic sauce and pepper, then perhaps you can consider yourself a Turk. For those who are completely unbearable from the sudden onset of hunger, we can recommend eating a real Turkish kebab. Any roast in Turkish is “kebab”. Tasty, inexpensive, fast, and most importantly - a lot of meat. Kebab, as you know, is the same barbecue: pieces of meat, processed in a certain way, are cooked on a live fire, after which they are served wrapped in a thin flat cake along with onion, herbs and sauce. It is prepared from lamb, beef, pork and chicken. The Turks themselves prefer lamb kebab. Kebab cooked on a spit is called shish kebab (“shish” in Turkish - “skewer”), shishli kebab. Isn’t our well-known word “barbecue” from here? & nbsp;
One of the restaurants in Istanbul. Photo: Ton Koene/TASS
Usually people just walk in the Old Town: it is almost always less crowded and the heat is better tolerated. Tiredness came - we sit down in the shade of plane trees at a table in tea-hane and order tea. Turkey is delicious. It is served with small cubes of pistachio lokum and dried mulberries with hazelnuts and grated almonds.
Although coffee came to Europe from Turkey, and the Turks really drink coffee and really in Turkish, they still use it much less than tea. In the heat, sour-milk products such as ayran are more preferred. A common sight in Turkey: men are sitting at a table - backgammon enthusiastically moving, drinking ayran with kurut (hard balls of dried salted cottage cheese).
When you walk around the town in the evening, it is permissible to drink something and stronger: for example, in some “attic” under a hookah, take a sip of “bardak balyk” (in Turkish, “attic” is something like a coffee house, “mess” is a glass, and “balyk” is vodka). A real classic hookah is tobacco, a piece of slightly smoking charcoal and water without any impurities. Tourists are often given an expensive surrogate - with pink water and expensive tobacco with prunes and honey.
In almost any city in Turkey, you will certainly find yourself on the busy Ataturk Street - usually it is central. Ataturk - the Father of the Turks - is honored here in the same way as we have Lenin in the Soviet past. Well, we will thank him very much for allowing the Turks to drink anise vodka (raki) and beer.
Turkish culinary highlightsand sea baths. The question arises - where to eat. There are no problems with this in Turkey - most hotels offer their guests full board - lunch, breakfast and dinner, sometimes with "free" drinks, for which, however, they are paid back at home. You need to use all this set, but sometimes there is a desire not to be limited to a buffet - no matter how excellent it may seem. The charm and charm of any country is lost behind the mountains of boiled, steamed and fried food, solemnly piled up on tables lined up in rows and lines. When there is a lot of food, you involuntarily begin to catch yourself thinking that you get less pleasure from it. You can't argue with that! It is better to get acquainted with real Turkish cuisine in a different way - for example, in some cozy restaurant nearby.
Turkey traditionally prefers cooking meat over an open fire. Photo: Sebnem Koken/TASS
It doesn't have to be chic at all - with snow-white tablecloths and a host of super-polite waiters. In this case, we are talking about the most common summer small eateries, sometimes with tables on the street, where either the owner himself or one of his family members serves.
In Turkey, many Russians prefer to dine in Russian - salad, soup, main course and something to drink. Eggplant purée, lamb brains, cold beans in sauce, red mullet, plaice, marinated octopus, swordfish, kofte (round patties), shish kebabs, greased lamb shoulder blades, lamb leg roast, jajik (whipped garlic yogurt) , butter and cucumbers, lamb kidneys in mustard, turkey with chestnuts in a pot - these are just a few of the dishes that you can taste in a more or less decent Turkish restaurant.Or you can order yourself, for example, a regular salad, sheep cheese, tandoor cakes , olives, lentil chorba from lamb giblets, shish kebab and a glass of ayran. This pleasure will not cost so much, but hunger will not come for a long time. You should also not deny yourself the pleasure of trying a real chorba, not a soup of giblets.  ; They do it like this. First, the lamb legs are boiled for a long time, and then served with chopped garlic, vinegar and a dry cake, which is crumbled into the broth. The dough swells and fills the entire bowl. They say that some tours The local villagers even eat with their hands. True, they call it differently - pocha, which in translation sounds like a "leg of lamb". In Caucasian cuisine, there is its analogue - khash.
Among tourists vacationing in Turkey, there has long been an unspoken rule according to which it is better to order dishes of local cuisine, and not European ones, for example. They cost less, and their chefs cook them more professionally, with real knowledge of the matter.
Turkish cuisine involves the extensive use of spices in cooking. Photo: TASS
The real luxury of the Turkish table is appetizers (meze). They are the pride of the Turks. Meze is not a separate dish, but rather a ritual, as the locals themselves believe. You can probably compare meze with the Dutch Rijsteifel, where everything revolves around rice - meat, fish and vegetable snacks. However, there is no clearly defined central dish in the meze, but there is a whole kaleidoscope of dishes - light snacks, hot appetizers, as well as a kind of highlight of the program - main dishes. It all ends with the serving of dessert.
In fact, very often the Turks are cunning when they lustfully roll their eyes at the word “meze”. Well, this performance is for foreigners: very quickly they begin to understand that meze is just a set of traditional dishes that are served in a certain sequence. Pickled vegetables, olives and black olives, feta cheese, pastirma (dried meat), mussels and fish, stewed eggplants, zucchini and peppers with tomatoes are brought on small plates. - like on a show, having previously seasoned with some kind of chop or at least doner kebab (we have this dish - lamb slices previously soaked in grape vinegar with spices - they call shawarma). Speaking of kebabs.
There are many varieties of kebabs in Turkey. Photo: Robert Schlesinger/TASS
Turning around near the coals, which are laid out on shelves in a cabinet in front of a vertically standing skewer, the lamb is covered with an appetizing crust. The cook - kebabji - deftly cuts it with a sharp long knife, and then, having collected the right amount of meat, wraps it in thin pita bread or puts it on a flat cake. There are many varieties of kebabs in Turkey - sometimes you get lost and don’t know which one to give preference to. There are forest kebabs, gardener's and hunter's kebabs, and a whole list of other kebabs - in a bowl, in eggplant, with yogurt, lamb in paper ... If you are offered to taste chevirme kebab out of great friendship, do not refuse. This dish (a whole lamb on a spit) is considered a delicacy, it is prepared extremely rarely and only on holidays for the most honored guests. As well as kuyu-kebab, which is prepared as follows: first, the lamb is fresh, then wrapped in its own skin and placed in a red-hot pit, which is then covered with sand, and a fire is made on top.
However, the Turkish meat table is not limited to kebabs alone . Many meat and vegetable dishes, well seasoned with pepper and olive oil, are stewed in an earthenware pot called gyuvech.
Turks love to haggle - they can bring down the price, having received their "indirim" (discount), even in cafes and restaurants. Local traders have long learned the Russian word "discount", but they are more willing to agree to "indirim", which can be a free glass of beer. No one will be surprised at your desire to bargain - it's customary.