Food and the Turkish Culture

turkishcookbooksFood in Turkey plays a huge part of socialising and family time.  Turks by nature are hospitable and you will always get offered something to eat or drink when visiting a home or business. Food and the Turkish Culture go hand in hand.

One thing you have to be aware of is housewives never take no for an answer and it is also impolite to refuse which is normally pretty hard to do.  At least always drink the tea.

3 times may be a charm but to refuse an offer of a drink or something to eat 3 times means you won’t be offered a 4th so don’t try to be polite by refusing its normally better to accept.

It wasn’t until I got to know my Mother in Law better that she stopped force feeding me all the time, the words “ye, ye” (eat, eat) were constantly repeated to me until I ate whatever was given to me.  Now we both see it as a little joke and I am now able to refuse food when I am stuffed full!!

Whenever families get together on an outing or a gathering at home you can always guaranteed plenty food and Turkish tea.

You will also find Turkish coffee served after a meal or sometimes when you are popping in for a quick visit.

Food is also present at various occasions, like circumcisions and weddings where it always appears as if the whole street is being fed.  You will also find food a funerals and other special occasions and often special foods like Helva served at these occasions.

Food is also present during the Religious days and months like Ramadan where large meals are prepared to break the fast after a long day of fasting and During Kurban Bayram, the Sacrifice festival where meat plays a huge part.

Turkish Tea is a huge part of Turkish culture and socialising, the Turkish Tea House is where Turkish men go to talk and discuss the days politics and football while drinking lots of Tea and playing Okey or Backgammon.

The average Turk can drink around 10 cups of Turkish tea a day.  Think of all that sugar yikes!

Food is also passed around your neighbours.  This can be on a special occasions or just because you have plenty left over.  Kandil nights and Aşure are some of the times you can expect a plate of food to be handed in.  And remember never hand the plate back empty!

And don’t forget when the ladies gather for their tea and gossip time you can always expect a plate of food.

Whatever the reason or occasion Turks can always find a reason for food and due to this fact, Turkish Culture has played a huge part in the foods we have here in Turkey today.

From delicious Baklava, Turkish Delight and Helva to many different types of Borek, kebabs and Kofte.

One thing is sure  Food and the Turkish Culture brought many tasty treats and brought many people together Yabanci (stranger) and Turk.

© 2012 – 2015, Kerry Arslan. All rights reserved.

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2 Responses to “Food and the Turkish Culture”

  1. 28th December 2012

    Ozlem Warren Reply

    loved this one too; food is such a huge part of Turkish culture, wonderful post! Happy new year to you and your family! x Ozlem

  2. 23rd April 2013

    brainiac3397 Reply

    I found that, being a Turk, I drank lots and lots of tea. I decided that rather than reduce the amount I drank or cut it completely, I’d just get used to drinking it without any sweetening. Now I can only drink unsweetened tea but drink as much as I always do.

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