Monday, October 09, 2006

A Well-Stocked Turkish Kitchen

My husband returned from Turkey yesterday from a 3-week visit (part of the reason I didn't blog as I was so busy with extra work), and brought me several goodies. Olives, feta (beyaz peynir), pastırma, dried apricots (unsulphured) -- lots of good, healthy stuff.

So, I thought I would create a list of the well-stocked Turkish kitchen, ingredients so common on the table, that a Turkish cook would almost always have them in the cupboard, or buy them fresh frequently.

  • olive oil (extra virgen, cold pressed best)
  • butter (the real stuff, not that nasty margarine)

  • milk (sometimes still sold fresh off the street)
  • feta (beyaz peynir)
  • yogurt (and lots of it, whole milk)

    Meats (usually used sparingly because of cost):
  • lamb
  • pastırma
  • ground beef

    (This is just a small selection. As Turkey is surrounded by 3 seas (Mediterranean, Aegean, and Black) plus many rivers, there is a wide variety of fish, and it's eaten frequently. I've never eaten better fish than in Turkey.)
  • lufer (a type of blue-fish, but a whole lot better)
  • anchovy
  • sardines
  • trout

    Fruits--all kinds, whatever's fresh in-season:
    Turks love fruit, and use it as a common dessert
  • quince
  • apricots
  • peaches (from Bursa are heavenly)
  • grapes
  • apples
  • pears
  • figs (another fruit divinity)
  • lemons (used in almost anything, freshly-squeezed, not bottled)
  • olives (most commonly served at breakfast, but really at any meal)

    Dried Fruits:
  • dates
  • apricots
  • figs
  • raisins

    Nuts (I'll blog about kuru yemiş one day):
  • almonds
  • pistachios
  • walnuts
  • hazelnuts
  • peanuts

    Vegetables (again, what is fresh and in-season):
  • eggplant
  • leeks
  • tomatoes
  • okra
  • celeriac
  • squash
  • carrots
  • onions
  • cabbage
  • garlic (used year-round in almost everything)

    Beans, Legumes and Grains:
  • white dry beans (canneli)
  • chick peas
  • lentils
  • bulgur
  • rice (Turks usually use white, but I always use brown)

  • arugula
  • purslane
  • lettuce (usually Romaine)
  • parsley (used as a salad, too)
  • tere
  • green onions

I'm sure this list will grow as I remember certain items, or someone reminds me. Plus Turkey is a huge country and I did not experience all the various regional cuisines, unfortunately.

1 comment:

Tina M said...

Can you tell, I love your blog!! Sorry to pester you but I would love a recipe for Turkish Coffee, if you don't mind. I assume you use a double boiler and then what spices? Ty in advance :)

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