Food Allergies in Turkey

Food allergies are a problem for many people, including some who travel to Turkey. In some cases allergies can be a dangerous—even fatal—problem.

Did you know that some people can die just from eating a peanut? One peanut! Or even a small partof one peanut. Or a mushroom. Or a squirt of lemon juice.

My daughter tested positive for peanut allergy when she was a few years old, so I know the problem. The doctor said that if she were seriously allergic, even licking a peanut might send her into anaphylactic shock and kill her.

Although she now tests negative to this allergy and eats peanuts without incident, I will never forget those days of checking every single thing she ate for peanuts (they’re in all sorts of things you’d never expect!)

So I have heartfelt sympathy for travelers with food allergies who go to Turkey. Read this aboutawareness of food allergies in Turkey.

By the way, the Neyzade Restaurant in the Sirkeci Mansion Hotel in Istanbul is sensitive to food allergies, and always has gluten-freevegetarianand vegan choices available. More…

If you have food allergies, the pages described below may help you. I ask that you also help me to improve them. If you have a food allergy, send me a messageso that I can help you and other travelers avoid problems. After you return from your trip, send me a message telling me about your experience so that I can improve these pages, and the safety and happiness of future travelers.

Avocado (Avocado Pear, Alligator Pear)

Avocado is not an ingredient in traditional Turkish cuisine, having been introduced to the country only a few decades ago, but it may be used in Turkish nouvelle cuisine, so you must watch out for it. More…

Beans, Green (Fine, String, Haricots)

Green beans (French beans, string beans, Fine beans; in Turkish fasulya = singular, fasulye = plural), varieties of Phaseolus vulgaris, are popular in TurkeyMore…

Broccoli Allergy

Broccoli (brokoli, Brassica oleracea) is not a part of traditional Turkish cuisine, having been introduced to Turkish cooks only in the years after 2000. Broccoli allergy may not be a big problem during your trip to Turkey. More…

Capsicum/Green Pepper Allergy

Capsicum peppers—green, bell, sweet, hot/spicy—are common foods in Turkey. If you’re allergic to them, you must be on your guard, but you’ll still dine well. More…

Citrus Fruits

Most citrus fruits—oranges, grapefruits, lemons—are visually identifiable, but Turkish chefs use lemon juice early and often. Here’s how to find and avoid citrus fruits during your trip to Turkey. More…

Corn/Maize Allergy

Corn (maize, mısır in Turkish) is not a big part of the Turkish diet, but it is used, and you should be on the lookout for it. More…

Egg Allergy

Eggs (yumurta) are not uncommon in Turkish cooking, but they are not in everything. Most of the time you can see them, sometimes they are hidden. More…

Fish & Seafood Allergy

Seafood is among the glories of Turkish cuisine, but it should not be difficult to enjoy wonderful Turkish food while avoiding fish (balık) and seafood (deniz ürünleri)More…

G6PD Deficiency (Favism)

If you have this inherited enzyme deficiency, you must not eat Fava beans (broad beans). More…

Gluten Intolerance (Celiac Disease)

Wheat is a popular ingredient in the Turkish diet, but there are many gluten-free foods and treats. More…

Lamb & Mutton Allergy

If you are allergic to lamb and mutton, you may have to take extreme caution while in Turkey. Lamb/mutton is the “national meat” and is used in all sorts of dishes. More…

Legume Allergy (Peanut, Green Pea, Chickpea, Lentil, Soy)

Different from tree nuts, legumes are a very common part of the Turkish diet, so you must be very careful. More…

Milk & Dairy Allergy

Dairy products play an important part in the Turkish diet, but Turkey is not a “dairy country” like Denmark or Holland. More…

Mushroom Allergy

Mushrooms (mantar) are not widely used, but you will encounter them, so you must be careful. More…

Mustard Allergy

Mustard (hardal) is used in Turkey, but it’s not common. You should be able to avoid it easily, and enjoy Turkish cuisine. More…

Nut (Tree Nut) Allergy

There is a danger from tree nuts, but for most travelers it is small and manageable. More…

Olive & Olive Oil

Turkey produces lots of olives and olive oil, and these have been a basis of Anatolian cuisine for millennia. Here’s what you need to know to dine well and safely, traveling with olive allergy in Turkey. More…

Onion Allergy

Many Turkish recipes begin “Chop six large onions…,” but you can still dine well and healthily on your trip to Turkey. More…

Orange Allergy

Turkey produces lots of citrus fruit, but oranges are used mostly for juice, fresh fruit and garnishes. More…

Peanut & Legume Allergy

Peanuts are eaten mostly as a snack, but other legumes are very important and common in the Turkish diet. More…

Sesame Seed & Oil Allergy

Turkey’s national street snack is the simit, a bread roll covered in sesame seeds—easily avoided. But sesame seeds and oil may show up in other foods as well. More…

Sunflower Allergy

Turkey raises a lot of sunflowers, mostly for snacks and cooking oil. More…

Other Food Allergies

If your allergy is to some other food, please contact me, give me details, and I’ll offer whatever help I can.

—by Tom Brosnahan


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