Tastes of Turkey

Visitors who are not familiar with Turkish cuisine have a delightful surprise in store for them. The tastes of Turkey are a delicious blend of Turkish, Arabic, Persian and Greek. Quite similar to a Mediterranean diet, said to be one of the healthiest in the world, it includes lots of fresh fish, meat, vegetables and fruit with a touch of spice. Any naughtiness is saved for the end of the meal when you get to feast on very sugary, sweet pastries. And if you're still hungry for more, Turkish Delights go perfectly with a tiny cup of strong Turkish coffee.

However, if you would prefer something a little more familiar, most restaurants in the larger resorts cater for their British customers and you'll also find several supermarkets offering a good selection of European food and drink. And, if you are still craving something from home there is always McDonalds or Burger King nearby.

Whatever your preference you will be amazed at how inexpensive the food is and the selection available for both the restaurants and supermarkets.

As for drinks, pure spring water is always available. Drink only bottled water. Some tap water is safe, but it's difficult to be sure. Turkey is famous for its succulent fruit, and thus for its fruit juices. There's also ayran (yogurt mixed with spring water—tastes like buttermilk).

Islam forbids drinking alcohol, but many Turks are European in their lifestyle and enjoy alcoholic beverages with meals. Turkey produces some excellent dry wines, both red and white, which go well with a variety of foods. Names to look out for include Villa Doluca, Kavakladere Cankaya, Yakut and Dikmen. Efes and Tuborg beers are almost always the only beers available, and both are good. A must is the local raki, a clear grape brandy flavoured with anise and diluted with water, although gin, vodka, whiskey and liqueurs are also readily available.

A meal is often followed by an espresso sized cup of Turkish coffee, though Italian coffees are becoming increasingly popular, especially in the larger resorts where little café’s offering favourites such as latte and cappuccino are popping up everywhere.