Tree nuts (ağaç çekirdekleri) such as almonds (badem, bah-DEHM), hazelnuts (fındık, fuhn-DUHK), walnuts (ceviz, jeh-VEEZ), and pistachios (Şam fıstığı, SHAHM fuss-tuh-uh) are used
occasionally in Turkish cuisine, but except
for pine nuts, (çam
fıstığı) tree nuts are uncommon in main-course dishes. You
find them mostly as snacks, and in
some desserts (sweets).
In general, simple restaurants making
the common, traditional Turkish dishes
may use fewer or no nuts. Innovative,
more expensive restaurants may use
fıstığı, YEHR fuhs-tuh-uh) are
not actually nuts, they're legumes,
pulses. Here's information on traveling in Turkey with peanut allergy.
Walnuts (ceviz, jeh-VEEZ)
are used in
baklava and in Çerkez Tavuğu (chehr-KEHZ
tah-voo-oo, "Circassian Chicken"),
chicken with a walnut sauce.
Turkey produces half the world's
supply of hazelnuts (filberts, fındık),
so they may appear in some innovative
dishes, or in restaurants in the Black
Sea region, where the nuts grow.
fıstığı, SHAHM fuss-tuh-uh) grow
in the southeast. They, too, are
a snack, or
used in desserts (such as baklava and burma kadayıf) and
confections (such as lokum:
but may be used in some stuffed vegetables,
and even kebaps.
desserts may contain nuts—like
these macaroons, each with an
almond on top.
often eaten fresh, in season, as a
snack, served on a block of ice to
cool them. You'll also find them dried,
again as a snack, rarely in restaurant
Pecans & Cashews
and cashews (kaşu cevizi) are
not native to Turkey, and are not
normally used in Turkish cuisine.
The Turkish phrase for "I'm
allergic to nuts" would
alerjim var (CHEK-ehr-dehk-LEHR
ah-lehr-ZHEEM vahr), but the word
used here is "seeds" rather
doesn't have a single-word designating
tree nuts, as English does. If your
allergy is to a particular sort of
nut, you'd say:
[Name of nut] alerjim
For example, Yer fıstığı
alerjim var (YEHR
fuhs-tuh-uh ah-lehr-ZHEEM vahr)
for peanuts: "I'm
allergic to peanuts."
If you want to avoid all nuts, seeds
and their oils, say:
fıstık - fındık ve yağları alerjilerim
fuhn-duhk veh YAH-lahr-uh ah-lehr-zhee-lehr-ZHEEM
I can eat no nuts or seeds, or their
Hiç çekirdek, fıstık fındık
veya yağlarını yiyemem!
(HEECH chek-eer-DEK fuhss-TUHK fuhn-DUHK
veh-yah YAH-lahr-uh-nuh yee-YEH-mehm)
If your allergy is not mentioned here
and you don't know the word for it,
me and I'll find it for you.
—by Tom Brosnahan