Historical Turkish cuisineDocuments related to Turkish cuisine goes back to 11th century and it’s roots is found in Central Asia. As Mahmud Kashgari, the author of Divanu Lugati’t-Turk (The Compendium of the Turkic Dialects) and Yusuf Has Hacib, the author of Kutadgu Bilig (Wisdom of the Royal Glory) state, we can easily say that there was a rooted cuisine and kitchen “culture” on those eras. They give detailed information about feasts, dishes should be served in certain circumstances and some recipes too. Tools’ names for cooking can also be found like bardak ‘glass’, tewsi ‘pan’ kaşuk ‘spoon’ etc on their books.  Besides, some table manners are also stated. For example, Yusuf Has Hacib writes “Do not start eating till the older starts.” or “Only eat what is served to you, do not attempt to eat others’ dishes.” etc. These rules, which are actually not written, just learned, named as sofra adabı (table etiquette) in modern Turkish.

The cuisine is shaped up in centuries from Central Asia to Middle East, from Anatolia to Europe, and today’s Turkish cuisine consists of Central Asian, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean and Balkan elements. Any meal or drink in the cuisines of mentioned areas can be found in Turkish cuisine, but basically, it is the heritage of Central Asian and Ottoman Turks. Apart from this, Turkish cuisine has a great influence on neighbouring cuisines like Eastern Eurpoe, Arabic or Greek cuisines. Also, famous Turkish ingredients or food such as yogurt, ayran, baklava or lokum can be seen in any cuisine and even supermarket around the world.

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