5 Strange and delicious Turkish dishes you have to try
Anyone who ventures into Turkey typically believes the common stereotype that Turkish cuisine is only made up of kebabs and meats but that is not the case, the history and culture of the cuisine has a huge variety in food; here’s a list of popular and unique Turkish dishes that most foreigners are unfamiliar with.
- Stuffed Intestines (Kokoreç)
Kokoreç is essentially lamb or goat intestines that are thoroughly cleaned and wrapped around seasoned offal such as sweetbreads, hearts, lungs or kidneys, they are cooked on a skewer and usually horizontally grilled over a charcoal fire. It’s one of the most popular fast foods sometimes preferred to consume after a drinking session. Served all year round – Kokoreç can be found in any kiosks, cafes and restaurants around Turkey.
- Wet Burger (Islak Burger)
‘Wet burger’ has a very peculiar ring to it but this moist meatloaf-burger drenched in tomato sauce is a delicious street food – a late night snack that is quite favorable among youngsters in Turkey parallel to Hot Dogs in Los Angeles or Pizzas in New York City.
- Sheep’s Head Soup (Kelle Paça Çorba)
Eating sheep’s head in a steaming broth may not sound ideal to most. However, this delicious soup follows the old tradition of using every part of the meat instead of discarding of it– the meat from the shinbones or tongues are often added and boiled for an extended period of time to tenderize it and then seasoned with hot chili flakes, oregano, or garlic puree. This soup is popular among travelers and locals in Turkey.
- Lamb’s Testicles (Koç Yumurtası)
The most crucial part of cooking the testicles is marinating them beforehand with pepper, thyme, and olive oil – that gives them a juicy and tender texture. The membrane layer on top is peeled, the testicles are washed and then cut into cubes. There are different ways to cook the testicles but the most common technique used is sautéing the slices in butter until they’re nicely caramelized.
- Chicken Dessert (Tavuk Goğsu)
Typically, people never associate chicken with desserts–it’s unheard of, but not in Turkey. Tavuk Goğsu is the most famous recipe of the Ottoman era still greatly valued in modern day. The chicken is boiled down, barely leaving any savory flavor to it, combined with sugar and milk. The cooking method is somewhat bizarre, but the end result always impresses foreigners.