Meze | Turkish Appetizers
Meze are small plates made for sharing. Meat is traditionally eaten sparingly in Turkey. Appetizer courses are commonly served to supplement a featured main course of meat or fish. When dining out, the presentation of starter plates is typically made table side. Large trays of the of meze are presented to diners for selection. Fist, the cold selections are served. The cold selections are followed by warm starters. Although meze is most associated with evening dining, the culture of sharing small plates extends to every meal in Turkey. Like evening dining, traditional Turkish breakfast begins with a service of small communal plates. Typical breakfast starters include cheese, olives, tomatoes and homemade jams. The second service commonly features eggs. Regardless of the time of day, dining is a social event. As a result, appetizer courses can frequently last hours.
Common meze dishes include cheese (beyaz peynir), eggplant salad (patlıcan salatası), fava puree (fava), fried calamari (kalamar tava), hummus (humus), green salad (yeşil salatası), pepper paste with walnuts (acılı ezme) and yoghurt with herbs (haydari).
Meze can be found in every region of Turkey.
Meze is available all year.
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