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Aegean Cuisine

Last Updated on June 25, 2024

The Aegean region is a popular tourist destination and one of the seven regions of Turkey. Besides its rich history, crystal clear sea, and historical sites, the Aegean region is famous for its unique meals. Compared to the other parts of Turkey, the Aegean region’s cuisines are much more famous.

Aegean Cuisine, known as Ege Mutfağı in the Turkish language, defines the delicious various foods originating from the Aegean region of Turkey. The main ingredients of the Aegean Cuisine are usually olive oil, appetizers, and plenty of herbs. Seafood is also an inseparable part of the Aegean Cuisine of Turkey.

Main Features of Aegean Cuisine

Olive Oil

Aegean cuisine contains a great deal of olive oil, and it is one of the main parts of the meal because it is believed that it enhances the meal’s taste. Thus, like a painter who adds more color to their painting, chiefs generously add more oil to their meal to make it much more tastier. They also use it to make healthy food because it helps to avoid heart diseases, lowers cholesterol, and includes antioxidants. Foods such as sarma with olive oil, stuffed green pepper with olive oil, and artichoke with olive oil are great examples of olive oil meals. It is hard to find someone who doesn’t use olive oil in their meals in the Aegean region!

Herbs

The Aegean region is known for its diverse, delicious, and healthy herbs. The Aegean locals add herbs to all kinds of foods to create rich, fresh, and tasty flavors. Herbs such as thyme, mint, rosemary, dill, and basil are often included in the meals and are one of the key components of meals.

Local Foods to Try in Izmir

Turkish Food- çiya sofrası

One of the famous cities of Turkey with rich cuisines, Izmir is a coastal Aegean city in western Turkey, and it has vibrant and delicious cuisines that will make you feel on cloud nine in your first bite. If you are wondering what to eat in Izmir, our article can help you find the best dishes for your taste experience.

Izmir cuisine combines the Aegean Sea's fresh decencies with Anatolia's traditional tastes. The most important feature of Izmir dishes is that they embrace an olive oil-based culinary style, in which dishes are prepared with fresh and healthy ingredients. From the street vendors to the restaurants of Izmir, there are many opportunities to taste these delicious dishes.

Izmir speciality pastry - boyoz

Boyoz

Boyoz is one of the most prominent meals of Izmir, and the first thing that comes into mind when the topic is what to eat in Izmir. It is a pastry made with sunflower oil, tahini, and flour. Some people especially prefer to eat it at night, and you can see street vendors in almost every district of Izmir.

You can also find it filled with ingredients such as cheese, meat, spinach, chocolate, artichoke etc. 

Izmir's speciality dessert - bomba

Bomba

Boyoz is one of the most prominent meals of Izmir, and the first thing that comes into mind when the topic is what to eat in Izmir. It is a pastry made with sunflower oil, tahini, and flour. Some people especially prefer to eat it at night, and you can see street vendors in almost every district of Izmir.

You can also find it filled with ingredients such as cheese, meat, spinach, chocolate, artichoke etc. 

Izmir's famous Kumru

Kumru

Kumru is basically a toasted sandwich generally served with cheese, pepper, and tomatoes, and you can add mayonnaise or ketchup additionally.

Kumru is especially associated with Çeşme district, but it is easily findable everywhere in Izmir and other cities. However, you can find the best Kumru in restaurants, especially specializing in making Kumru, as well as street vendors.

Midye - Filled mussels

Midye Dolma

Midye dolma is usually sold by street vendors, and you can see people sitting and eating it with beer, especially in Alsancak in front of the sea. Moreover, there are also restaurants specializing in midye dolma recently.

how-to-drink-turkish-raki

Raki

One of the drinks favored by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk (the national hero of Turkey), raki is an indispensable part of Turkish cuisine, and Izmir is known for its people’s tendency towards raki. It is made with grape, sugar, water, anise, and ethyl alcohol, and it usually contains 40 to 50 percent alcohol. It is usually served with slim and long glasses. 

To prepare your raki, you should fill half of your glass with raki, then you should add some water to it. Don’t forget to add ice cubes to keep it cold.

Izmir Kofte

Kumru is basically a toasted sandwich generally served with cheese, pepper, and tomatoes, and you can add mayonnaise or ketchup additionally.

Kumru is especially associated with Çeşme district, but it is easily findable everywhere in Izmir and other cities. However, you can find the best Kumru in restaurants, especially specializing in making Kumru, as well as street vendors.

Söğüş

Usually preferred in summer, söğüş is one of the best-known foods of Izmir. It is made with the head of a sheep with tomato, onion, peppers, and parsley and is mostly served inside lavash bread ( it is a bread similar to a tortilla.)

 

Aegean cuisine offers an irresistible and welcoming feast to people with its delicious and fresh ingredients. From seafood to exquisite Aegean meals made with olive oil, it includes various healthy and appetizing meals. Experiencing this cuisine means discovering the rich gastronomic diversity and local tastes of Turkey.

- Duru Nemutlu

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