Eating Healthy, Turkish Style The Zingy Zeytinyağlı Menu

A refreshing taste of good-health from Türkiye

Farmer's market in Türkiye (2023) by GoTürkiyeGoTürkiye

Olive It in Türkiye

A cooking technique unique to Turkish culinary arts involves simmering vegetables in olive oil, which preserves the nutritional quality of the ingredients while maximising the flavours.

Flat green beans braised in olive oil, GoTürkiye, 2023, From the collection of: GoTürkiye
Summer vegetables stew (Yaz Türlüsü), GoTürkiye, 2023, From the collection of: GoTürkiye
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Dishes prepared using this technique are known as "zeytinyağlı".

A dinner table in an Aegean town in Türkiye (2023) by GoTürkiyeGoTürkiye

Diverse Culinary Heritage

As the crossroads of trade and cultural exchange, Türkiye has always been open to enriching its culture, and this also applies to its cuisine. 

A dinner table in an Aegean town in Türkiye (2023) by GoTürkiyeGoTürkiye

This welcoming attitude eventually led to a greatly diverse culinary heritage, which is renowned worldwide.

A fruit and vegetable merchant miniature (2023) by GoTürkiyeGoTürkiye

A notable example of Türkiye’s culinary openness comes from Ottoman cuisine, where mostly animal fats, such as tallow, was used for cooking for a long period of time, however, olive oil trade introduced the wonders of olive oil to royal kitchens.

İmambayıldı, GoTürkiye, 2023-01-01, From the collection of: GoTürkiye
Braised Zucchini, GoTürkiye, 2023, From the collection of: GoTürkiye
Celeriac with orange juice braised in olive oil, GoTürkiye, 2023, From the collection of: GoTürkiye
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The proliferation of olive oil dishes thus began, marking a milestone in the illustrious Turkish cuisine with immaculate dishes such as imam bayıldı (stuffed aubergines with olive oil), zeytinyağlı kereviz (celery with olive oil), and zeytinyağlı kabak (zucchini with olive oil.)

Çizik (Scored) Olives (2023) by GoTürkiyeGoTürkiye

Olive Oil Essentials

Let’s talk facts about the versatile liquid gold from Türkiye!

Variety of olive oil dishes (2023) by GoTürkiyeGoTürkiye

The Esteemed Legacy of Zeytinyağlı

Menus from the 20th century show that olive oil dishes were often served at banquets and events.

Artichokes and beans with olive oil stand out on Ottoman Red Crescent Society menu (today's Red Crescent) and also a wedding ceremony menu from 1912.

Turkish olives (2023) by GoTürkiyeGoTürkiye

Drizzle a Bit of Fun

As olive and olive oil production are two of Türkiye’s most prized, the country is home to numerous olive-themed festivals, where visitors get the chance to sample different types of olives and olive oil, and also learn about the production processes.

A great olive tree from the Aegean region of Türkiye (2023) by GoTürkiyeGoTürkiye

The Olive Capital of the World!

As Türkiye’s diverse climate allows for the cultivation of exceptional olive trees, the country has a long history of olive cultivation. The country also ranks first in global olive consumption, featuring 90 distinct types of locally grown olives.

İmambayıldı (2023) by GoTürkiyeGoTürkiye

The İmam Who Was Floored by Flavour

İmam bayıldı literally means the imam fainted in Turkish. 

The imam in question was believed to have been so entranced by the alluring scent and taste of the dish that he fainted. Hence the dish, imam bayıldı, is thought to have been dubbed based on this folktale.

A nice lunch with Turkish olive oil dishes (2023) by GoTürkiyeGoTürkiye

With the richness and depth it adds to Turkish cuisine, olive oil turns each dish into a culinary masterpiece, making the zingy zeytinyağlı menu of Türkiye is an essential one to try!

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