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How to eat like a local in Turunç

Posted by Luci Ackers on 19 October 2015
Related property: Physkos
Local food in Turunc Meat Tandir

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With a rich cultural history, stunning sights and a wealth of fantastic leisure activities on offer, it’s no surprise that more than 2.5 million Brits visit Turkey every year. Food is another huge draw for tourists, and it’s something the country is known for the world over.

There are few better places to enjoy quality Turkish cuisine than the south-western village of Turunç, where quaint little eateries dot the stunning coastline, many offering amazing views of the Aegean Sea.

Foods to look for

Talk of Turkish food in the UK and many people will think first of late night, post-pub grub from the local kebab shop. In truth, though, there’s a whole lot more to it than that. In place of greasy nondescript meat in stale bread, you’ll find perfectly cooked cuts of the finest lamb and beef, paired with pittas, wraps, pastry and rice to create some of the tastiest meals imaginable. That’s not to mention the fresh vegetables, yoghurts and cheeses. The influences on Turkey’s gastronomic offerings are truly global.

In the coastal areas of south-eastern Turkey, fresh seafood and grilled meats reign, and you can find some amazing dishes. Below are a few examples of what to look out for:

Kuzu Tandir – Roast lamb, Turkish-style. Traditionally, the meat is hung and slow-roasted, before being pulled or shredded and placed on a bed of rice or potatoes.

Kuzu güveç – A classic casserole dish comprising lamb simmered with vegetables and often flavoured with cumin and paprika. Some chefs like to pair it with cauliflower rice for an extra hearty meal.

Menemen – A traditional breakfast dish made up of eggs, peppers and tomato. It tends to be eaten with a side of bread, and can be adapted for evening eating with the addition of onion. 

Köfte – This is a Turkish staple. Balls or patties, usually made of ground beef or lamb, served stewed, over salads, with bread or just on their own with traditional yoghurt.

Ayran – We’ll finish the taster list on a drink. Ayran is a cold yoghurt-based beverage, seasoned with salt. It’s particularly popular during summer and goes well with grilled meat and rice.

These are just a few examples of traditional Turkish meals you’ll likely come across in Turunç – in reality, we’re only scratching the surface. Other popular ingredients include chickpeas, aubergines, cheese, spinach, olive oil, cucumber, peppers, garlic and pistachios. Once dessert time arrives, be sure to try some real Turkish delight.

Where to find them

Considering only around 2,500 people live in Turunç, the village is home to a healthy selection of places to eat. Turunç has more than 40 restaurants, most of which serve traditional Turkish dishes, made fresh. Below are just three of your best options. 

Kavala

A family-owned eatery on the beach, Kavala offers authentic Turkish meals throughout the day. The menu features a selection of kebabs from different parts of the country, with its Beyti Kebab (minced lamb and beef with spices, served in lavas bread) particularly popular.

The seafood is great here too, and guests are encouraged to try the range of tasty mezes before tucking into their main meals. A quick look at Tripadvisor’s rankings should be enough to confirm Kavala’s credentials.

Can

If you like your amazing food with a side of faultless service and stunning views, Can is the place to go. Not only is it one of the oldest restaurants in Turunç, it has been run by the same family for more than 25 years, and they certainly know what they’re doing.

Can’s menu has all sorts from various cuisines, but it’s probably best known for its steak dishes. The layout is unique, as the restaurant stretches from the main street right down to the promenade, giving bay views from the back or a taste of bustling village life at the front. Guests can even have food brought to their sunbeds on the nearby beach.

Oba 09

Also situated on the beach, Oba 09 is relatively new, but it has quickly become a popular venue among the tourists who visit Turunç every year. Many people visit Oba – translation: tent – to sample its famous lamb and beef ‘crock pot’ casserole dishes.

Great food is served throughout the day, although the restaurant is only open through the summer (April to October). Once again, the views are a big part of Oba’s appeal. Ask for a table at the front of the restaurant and enjoy your meal whilst looking out across the bay.

If you’re looking for more information about what Turunç has to offer in the way of food, be sure to visit My Turunç, which offers an independent guide on the area’s restaurants. 

Bon appétit! 

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Luci Ackers

Luci Ackers

Luci loves getting out and about for a good cycle ride or easy-going walks in the countryside, and thoroughly enjoyed the time she previously spent working for the National Trust. Her love of writing started from a young age and on rainy days nothing beats curling up in a secret corner with a good book.

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