Turkish Specialties to Include in Your Wedding Menu in Türkiye

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Turkish Specialties to Include in Your Wedding Menu

In Türkiye, you’ll discover centuries-old recipes, local specialties, and gastronomic centres, such as İstanbul, with distinctive cuisine and world-class fine dining. Built on the foundations of thousands of years of co-existence of diverse cultures and civilisations, Türkiye is one of the best global destinations for a unique and scrumptious wedding celebration. If you’re planning your destination wedding in Türkiye, its famous much-loved cuisine promises to make a lasting impression!

Türkiye, with a range of climatic conditions across seven regions, has wide biodiversity in its fertile lands. The vegetables, fruits, and grains grown in each region of Türkiye are skilfully transformed into wonderful dishes by chefs who know and respect the bounty of their local geography. Different flavours welcome you throughout Türkiye – every morsel you taste is fresh and every dish bursting with flavours and creativity!

Türkiye’s gastronomic landscape also showcases fine dining establishments. Driven by the creativity of a new generation of Turkish chefs, authentic flavours and local Anatolian specialties are presented in modern interpretations that spotlight the contemporary face of Turkish cuisine.

If you are having your destination wedding in Türkiye and want your guests to have the ultimate Turkish experience, here is how you can include all the Turkish specialties in your wedding.

İstanbul: A Multifaceted Gastro-City

For an ultimate wedding experience, İstanbul, standing out among Türkiye’s gastro-cities, is a true culinary centre hosting the finest examples of world cuisine. In İstanbul, residents and visitors alike can enjoy, among others, the cuisines of Italy, China, Japan, Korea, Thailand, and India, as well as those of Russia, Austria, France, Mexico, and Spain. You will find upscale chef-driven restaurants, Far East fusion cuisine, sushi restaurants, Parisian-style cafés, and much more!

As the capital for many empires, İstanbul was home to fine palace cuisines: today, the city is a starting point for delectable tastes that span Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. Home to award-winning restaurants, İstanbul is a gastronomic centre of both Türkiye and the world. You can also find the best of Türkiye’s regional and local flavours in İstanbul, such as traditional Turkish breakfast or Türkiye’s world-famous kebabs.

The selection of the MICHELIN Guide İstanbul 2023 reflects the diversity, culinary traditions, and openness of the local culinary landscape. With 53 restaurants in the selection, İstanbul’s culinary scene offers unique experiences for all international gourmets – from the happy couple to the cherished guests! The selection of the MICHELIN Guide İstanbul 2023 at a glance includes one restaurant with two MICHELIN Stars, four restaurants with one MICHELIN Star, 

one restaurant with a MICHELIN Green Star, 10 Bib Gourmand restaurants, and 38 recommended restaurants.

For more info: https://gastrocity.goturkiye.com/

İstanbul is home to innumerable fine dining restaurants, two of which have been included since 2015 in the World's 50 Best Restaurants list. Most of these restaurants feature magnificent Bosphorus views – how better to enjoy each sip of rakı, Turkish wine, or a favourite cocktail than admiring the breathtaking view in the company of your wedding guests? Featuring acclaimed chefs from around the world, the city also offers fusion restaurants presenting both modern Turkish cuisine and contemporary global interpretations. 

Turkish Specialties to Include in Your Wedding Celebration in Türkiye

A Delicious Breakfast Ritual

The best way to revisit the joyous memories of the day before is a long and peaceful breakfast with your guests.  Turkish breakfast is a perfect opportunity to catch up and listen to your guests’ experience about the festivities as well as accepting the best wishes before flying off to your honeymoon.

Accompanied by fragrant Turkish tea served in tulip-shaped glasses, a typical Turkish breakfast will often consist of freshly baked bread and simits, a crunchy, circular bread covered with sesame seeds, along with the celebrated serpme (spread), which can include menemen, an egg dish made with tomatoes and peppers, as well as fresh cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers and leafy vegetables, various cheeses, green and black olives, honey, kaymak (a Turkish rendition of clotted cream), jams, butter, and acuka, a spicy tomato- and pepper-based spread.

Gourmet Street Food

Street food is an important part of daily life in Türkiye. One of the most famous street snacks is the ubiquitous simit, a delicious ring-shaped sesame bread eaten plain or with cheese or another spread. Sometimes consumed with tea or ayran, the simit stands out for being affordable and vegetarian and vegan friendly. In the country’s coastal areas, fish sandwiches (balık ekmek) are grilled on the spot by street vendors. This nutritious, tasty, and affordable street snack is beloved by both locals and visitors alike.

Stuffed mussels or midye dolma drizzled with lemon juice are another well-known and well-loved street snack. One of Türkiye’s most famous specialties is döner; made with lamb & beef meat or chicken grilled on a giant spit, this traditional Turkish street food is now featured throughout the world. Other delicious Turkish street snacks include kumpir (baked potatoes), kokoreç, and chicken accompanied by rice.  

Why not offer your wedding guests the enticing opportunity to experience Türkiye’s famous street food? Whether it is served during dinner, as a late-night snack, or throughout the wedding, your guests will absolutely love it!

Meze – Turkish Appetizers to Be Enjoyed Together

As the starting point of a leisurely meal, Turkish appetizers, also known as “meze” are not to be missed. Shared by the entire table, these delectable small plates are generally categorised as hot or cold, and offer almost endless variety: vegetables and legumes cooked with olive oil, cheeses, fish, and salads and wild herbs. Some of the meze that are served cold in Türkiye include fava (mashed broad beans), samphire, and Circassian chicken. Appetizers served hot may include paçanga pastry, hummus with pastırma (highly seasoned, thinly sliced cured beef), shrimp casserole, and fish kokoreç.  

İstanbul, the gastronomic capital of Türkiye, has a distinctive meze culture. Lakerda (salted bonito) and tarama (roe spread), prepared from fresh fish and consumed cold feature prominently among the extensive variety you can choose from.

The TurkAegean, where lush nature extends to the turquoise shores, is equally famous for meze prepared with all sorts of local, highly nutritious herbs. Aegean-style appetizers offer an unforgettable culinary experience that will impress your guests and make your special day stand out even more.

Meze at banquets can either be served on the main buffet, or spread out on the banquet tables in small plates for guests to enjoy during the celebration before dinner is served.

Eggplant: A Trademark of Turkish Cuisine

Beğendili kebap (kebap with eggplant puree), saksı (pot) kebap, stuffed eggplants, and karnıyarık (eggplant split in half and filled with seasoned minced meat) are just a few of the delicious eggplant dishes encountered in Turkish cuisine.

The meatless version of karnıyarık prepared with olive oil, known as imambayıldı, is among the numerous Turkish delicacies that vegetarians and vegans can enjoy. Şakşuka (shakshuka) and roasted eggplant are indispensable appetizers that can be added to your wedding menu.

Olive Oil Dishes: Extraordinary Flavours from the Palace Cuisine

In Turkish cuisine, most vegetables are cooked with olive oil, preserving their nutritional value and enhancing their flavour. Such dishes, which are usually prepared without meat and eaten cold, are as healthy as they are tasty.

Stuffed eggplant, leeks, artichokes, broad beans, and potatoes are among the olive oil dishes that are central in Turkish cuisine. Why not ask the wedding venue or your caterer to include some of these traditional delicious Turkish dishes in your wedding menu?

Turkish Desserts

Nothing is more delicious and unique than Turkish desserts; there are endless sweet options when it comes to Turkish desserts that your guests will absolutely fall in love with.

Here are some of the most popular Turkish sweets you can include on your dessert buffet:

  • Baklava is made of layers of filo dough filled with chopped walnuts or pistachios and soaked in syrup or honey. Just like other syrupy Turkish desserts, the crunchy feel makes this Turkish classic a textural wonder.
  • Tavuk Göğsü is a Turkish milk pudding sprinkled with a pinch of cinnamon. Previously a delicacy served to the Sultans; this milk-based thick pudding actually has shredded chicken meat that gives the dessert its unique texture.
  • Kazandibi is a caramelized milk pudding with the top made darker than the rest.  The name “Kazandibi” means the “bottom of the cauldron.” Believe it or not, its top is intentionally burnt to get the most of the caramelized flavor.
  • Ayva tatlısı is a winter dessert from Türkiye made from quinces poached in sugar and water. It’s sweetened with spices such as cloves and cinnamon. It’s usually served with clotted cream or kaymak, and can be sprinkled with walnuts or pistachios depending on preference.
  • Dondurma: Thick, chewy, and slow to melt, this ice cream originates from the city and region of Maraş. It is a favorite in the Middle East and will surly please your wedding guests, young and old alike.
  • Lokum (Turkish Delight): Previously called ‘Rahat ul-hulküm’, which is derived from Ottoman Turkish, the Turkish Delight lives up to the name: the comfort of the throat. 
  • Şerbet: Fresh fruits, spices, and flower essences still have a big place in Turkish cuisine with Persian, Levantine, and Central Asian influences. A very popular beverage during the time of the Ottoman Empire was sherbet. Recipes vary greatly, but the basic ingredients include a mix of flower extracts, fruits, or herbs added to sugar and water. Some traditional sherbets to try are demirhindi şerbeti (tamarind sherbet), ayva şerbeti (quince sherbet), gelincik şerbeti (common or corn poppy sherbet), gül şerbeti (rose sherbet), hibiscus şerbeti (Hibiscus Sherbet), kızılcık şerbeti (Cornelian cherry sherbet), nane-limon şerbeti (mint-lemon sherbet), meyan kökü şerbeti (licorice sherbet), and safran şerbeti (saffron sherbet)

For more information visit the official website of Weddings in Türkiye


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