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I have food allergies

Posted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 2:39 am
by jenshirt
I am travelling to Turkey in September.
I have two anaphylactis food allergies and want to be able to avoid foods containing them.

My first allergy is lettuce. Is it prevalent in turkey, here in canada it is on everything. How can I order an item without it? How do I say NO LETTUCE in turkey if I need to.
My second allergy is sunflower seeds. I have not had bad reactions to sunflower oils for the most part. But if the seeds are in a bread or sprinkled in a food I'm very allergic. Are sunflower seeds prevalent?

So travel is always tricky, so I very used to asking what is in things. But with the language barrier I am a little nervous. Any help with avoiding certain local foods known to contain these items would be helpful.


Re: I have food allergies

Posted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 2:00 pm
by Tosun Saral
lettuce: green salat
Unfortunately lettuce is everywhre in Turkey.
Lettuce is "Yesil (read Yeshil) salata" or "marul" in Turkish in english green salad. They serve lettuce with kebabs. You must say to the waiter that you dont want lettuce.

In Turkish: (Alejim var. Yesil salata istemiyorum.)
In English : (I am alegic. I dont want green salat.)

In some retaurants day add sunflower oil to the salad because it is cheeper then olive oil. Turkey is a paradise for all kinds of salat. You can have domatoes, cucumber, green papper, union, mixed salat which is called "Coban salatasi" the salat of sheepherdsman. There is no lettuce in it. Or to for to take a good desicion you can order "Sogus (read soguesh) salata without oil, salt and pepper in it.

In Turkish. (Alerjim var. Lutfen sogus salata getiriniz)
English: (I am alergic I only want domatoes, cucumber green papperoni)

Most of Turkish restaurants have a show window for the customers. You can look and order by pointing by your finger.

Normaly we Turks dont have sunflower breat at the table. But they serve at bakerei. It is dark bread. white turkish bread dont contain sunflowr seeds.
Dont worry after a few hours you will be also a Turkey expert.
have a nice time
Turkey is a padaside for all people.

Re: I have food allergies

Posted: Tue May 12, 2009 9:41 am
by Jeanne
That's it not to worry at all.
If you go to a lokanta you can point out what you like, all that food is cooked in olive oil. They might use sunflower oil for frying chips. Sunflower seeds are not used in normal bread that you get in restaurants or hotels. That is usually white.
In most restaurants salads come on the side, you can either decline, or say you like a white bean salad (piyaz) if available or carrots, red cabbage salad, that comes grated with olive oil. Or simple cucumber and tomatoes.
Good appetite have a great time!

Re: I have food allergies

Posted: Tue May 12, 2009 10:10 am
by jenshirt
Thanks for the info!!!
I am so excited. I am counting down until september!!

Re: I have food allergies

Posted: Fri Aug 01, 2014 12:01 pm
by Estellecrabb
Can you buy rice milk or oat milk in Western Turkey?

I need to avoid MSG, sauces, Dairy and wheat. Any suggestions?

Re: I have food allergies

Posted: Thu Aug 07, 2014 1:11 am
by SwampeastMike
You might be able to find alternate "milks".

MSG is commonly used in their soups unless you find a really good place that makes their stock/broth from scratch instead of using or adding bullion. (Turkish bullion is excellent BTW but it is rather high in MSG.)

Bread is, of course, everywhere and if your problem is with gluten be aware that the Turks prefer hard, high gluten wheat as it makes the best bread. Seasoned bulgar wheat (it looks a bit like short grain rice) is a very popular side dish.

Yogurt is extremely popular in Turkey both alone and as an ingredient. Cheese is not common as an ingredient (I don't think it's in Turkish pizza even).

"Sauces" is so generic that I truly wonder if your "allergies" are at least in part popular culture preferences.

Re: I have food allergies

Posted: Thu Aug 07, 2014 2:01 pm
by Estellecrabb