Antalya, which is the subject of Antalya's famous dishes, is a city located in the south of the Anatolian plateau and hosting a unique cuisine that blends the food habits of Yörük and Mediterranean cultures. Located between the Taurus Mountains and the Mediterranean coastline, this region offers the perfect combination of thyme flavor and sea scent. Antalya cuisine is known for its healthy and fresh ingredients, including vegetables and seafood. Antalya's citrus jams, rich in vitamin C, have gained worldwide fame. Yoruks, a Turkish nomad group, made an important contribution to Antalya cuisine by introducing yogurt. Arab culture also influenced Antalya cuisine, adding sesame and garlic to taste. The thyme of the Taurus Mountains is another indispensable ingredient in Antalya dishes. Taurus Thyme is known for its cholesterol-preventing properties and is consumed as tea or thyme juice. Cretan immigrants who came to Antalya in 1924 introduced their cuisine, which is mainly based on a plant-based diet and is now known as the "Mediterranean style diet" to the city. This kitchen makes good use of nature and promotes a healthy lifestyle.
Antalya's cuisine is as diverse as the region's natural beauty and rich culture. Here are some famous dishes that you must try while in Antalya:
- Antalya Bazaar
- Antalya Pumpkin Dessert
- Arabian Kadayif
- Sour Fish
- Walnut Baklava
- Tomato Civet
- Sour Tarhana Soup
- Filitian Porridge
- Gülüklü (Hülüklü) Soup
- Boiled Capricorn Tandoori
- Shelled Dry Beans
- Bulgur with Milk
- Pumpkin Soup with Milk
- Sweet Tarhana Soup
- Bergamot jam
- Flour Halva
- Flour Tarhana Soup
- Yoruk Kebab
- Olive Oil Wrapped Leaf and Meaty Leaf Wrap
Do not forget to take a look at the three most famous restaurants in Alanya where you can eat the famous local dishes in this entire list.
The Importance of Yogurt in Antalya Cuisine: A Nomadic Contribution
One of the most important contributions of the nomads to the Antalya cuisine is yogurt. Yogurt has been an integral part of the Yörük diet for centuries and has become the staple of many traditional Antalya dishes. Yoruks have been making yogurt with traditional methods for generations and their techniques have been passed down from one generation to the next. Yogurt, which is widely used among Antalya's famous dishes, is a versatile ingredient that can be used in many different ways in cooking. It is used as the base for many sauces and dips, such as cacık, a popular Turkish dish made with yogurt, cucumber, garlic and mint. Yogurt is also used as a marinade for meat, which helps tenderize the meat and add flavor. It is even used in desserts such as yogurt cake and yogurt mousse.
Besides being a delicious ingredient, yogurt also has many health benefits. It is rich in probiotics, which are beneficial bacteria that help promote digestive health. Yogurt is also a good source of calcium, which is essential for strong bones and teeth. Yoruks have also developed many different types of yogurt, each with its own unique taste and texture. Some of the most popular types of yogurt in Antalya include strained yogurt, which is a thick and creamy yogurt that is strained to remove the whey, and yoghurt buttermilk, a refreshing drink made with yogurt and water.
Cretan Immigrants and Their Effects on Antalya Cuisine
Since then, Cretan immigrants have brought with them unique culinary cultures that have been blended with Antalya's traditional dishes, creating a diverse and delicious cuisine. Their meals are predominantly based on a plant-based diet and make good use of nature. This cuisine has since been called the "Mediterranean-style diet" and is highly recommended by modern medicine for its health benefits.
One of the most famous Cretan dishes adopted by Antalya cuisine is "dakos", a salad made with tomato, onion, olives and feta cheese on barley rusk. This dish, which is among the famous dishes of Antalya, has since been changed to include ingredients unique to Antalya such as thyme, garlic and sesame.
From Salty to Dessert: Exploring the Different Tastes of Antalya Cuisine
One of the most iconic Antalya famous dishes of Antalya, piyaz is a salad made with dry beans, onions, tomatoes, parsley and sumac. The ingredients are mixed together and a sauce made of olive oil, vinegar and garlic is poured over it. Another popular savory dish in Antalya is marinated fish, sourdough made with garlic and lemon juice.
Moving on to sweet dishes, Antalya is famous for its pumpkin dessert, a delicious combination of roasted zucchini, cinnamon and walnuts, topped with sherbet. Another classic Antalya dessert is walnut baklava, made with layers of phyllo, chopped walnuts and honey.