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Lesser-Known Traditional Turkish Foods

Traditional Turkish cuisine is one of the richest cuisines in the world. It is rich in options, and it also offers a broad sense of food, inspired by many cultures. Each Turkish region has something different to offer. For example, spicy foods like “dolma” and kebab can be found in the eastern regions in Turkey, whereas the south parts offer light and olive oil foods. The fame of foods like Kebap, baklava have travelled many parts of the world, but there are also many hidden treasures when it comes to traditional Turkish cuisine. Here, we list some of the traditional Turkish foods that most likely you have never heard of.

1- Şırdan (Shirdan)

Şırdan is the most extraordinary dish in the Turkish cuisine. It is an Adana (a city in the Mediterranean region) speciality made of the abomasum, the last and fourth section of the ruminant’s (mostly sheep) stomach. This part of sheep is cleaned properly and filled with rice and spices. Then it is being cooked in a stockpot. The extraordinary thing about Şırdan is its appearance. Şırdan looks like a phallic. Taste it with a little bit of salt, and we’re sure you’ll not regret!

2- Şakşuka (Shakshuka)

Many countries influenced Turkish cuisine because of the Ottoman Empires’ six centuries of domination in the region. Originally Şakşuka is a North African dish, but it has been in the traditional Turkish cuisine for more than 200 years. Şakşuka is a popular olive oil dish in the Mediterranean region of Turkey. Şakşuka is prepared with roasted vegetables such as eggplant, peppers, and tomatoes with a special sauce on it. You can also add fried potatoes and zucchini. Every region in Turkey has its recipe for Şakşuka. While it is a spicy and heavy food in the east, you can find it as a cold and light appetizer in the south parts.

3- Mumbar Dolmasi

Mumbar dolması is also an unheard traditional Turkish food item. It is also called stuffed sheep sausage. Mumbar is prepared by filling the intestines of sheep or goats with rice and spices. It is often consumed by offal lovers. The most important point to prepare Mumbar dolmasi is to clean intestines carefully. In Turkey, people spend almost a whole day cleaning the intestines, keeping them in salty water mixed with vinegar.

4- Hünkar Beğendi (Sultan’s Delight)

Hünkar Beğendi, or simply Beğendi, is an Ottoman cuisine dish that has secured its position for more than 400 years. The exact translation of this dish is “The sultan liked it.” Indeed, it was one of the most favorite foods of the Ottoman sultans. It is made from smoked eggplants that are roasted in the oven or on the stove. Then they are peeled and chopped, stirred with milk and cheese, topped with meat cubes at the end. It is probably one of the most delicious Turkish dishes in the cuisine.

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