Half the fun of visiting a new country comes from sampling the local cuisine. Local food speaks volumes about a nation and its traditions and temperament. The innate Turkish ability to turn a simple meal into a warm hearted feast is infectious, the choice of dishes is many and varied, and the quality excellent. The food is always fresh and seasonal; a glance at the array of fruits and vegetables on display at local Turkish markets is evidence of this, and the vast majority are locally grown. With the added luxury of dining al fresco on the deck of your gulet, the culinary experience will be a true highlight of your yacht charter in Turkey. By nature Turkish people are hospitable and this is reflected in the service they give. Our gulet chefs create irresistible dish after dish to have you lingering over meals and determined to discover the secret ingredients.
During a gulet charter holiday your crew will serve you breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as afternoon tea and snacks during the day. The gulet's chef prepares all meals on board. On occasion you can of course choose to eat ashore at a restaurant, but generally our guests prefer the delicious cuisine prepared on board, and the laid back experience of dining on deck in the shade after a swim, or under the stars in the evenings. To save you valuable holiday time we shop for provisions in advance of your arrival, taking into account any dietary requirements or special preferences you may have. The quality of Turkish wine has improved dramatically in recent years; if you prefer imported fine wines or champagne please let us know so we can order them for you. You are very welcome to bring your own special wines, spirits or food items on board.
A typical Turkish breakfast consists of white cheese, green and black olives, slices of cucumber and tomato, eggs, honey and fruit preserves, and fresh bread. At breakfast and throughout the day the Turks drink cay, which is quite strong black tea and served in small glasses without milk. Coffee is also served on board your gulet if preferred.
Meals begin with mezes, small dishes similar to tapas, from which there is a great choice of options for vegetarians. Some classic meze include egg plant or zucchini salads, hot and spicy tomato salad, and cacik, a yoghurt dish with finely shredded cucumber and lashings of garlic. Thick yoghurt is often served by itself and makes a good accompaniment to some of the drier mezes. Other favourites are dolma: green peppers, squash flowers or vine leaves stuffed with savoury and fragrant rice. Sometimes octopus can be caught by the gulet crew and enjoyed in an olive oil salad, or fried, drizzled with lemon juice and served with a garlic and walnut tapenade. Your table is never without a constant supply of fresh bread, helping you to savour every last mouthful.
Main courses are usually lamb, beef or chicken based. Herbs and spices are used liberally in Turkish cooking in dishes such as kofte, the spicy Turkish version of meatballs, meat and vegetable casseroles, pasta and barbecued dishes. Savoury rice pilav, often accompanies main courses, with a salad dressed in olive oil and lemon juice. Your gulet crew or local fishermen can source fresh fish and seafood; amongst the best choices, depending on the season, are levrek- sea bass, karides - prawns, barbunya - red mullet, and kilic - sword fish.
No meal is complete without dessert. In a warm climate like Turkey's, fruit is the favourite and summer is the season for cherries, peaches and delicious honeydew and watermelon. Sweet is how Turkish people prefer their desserts and a common choice is Baklava, a honey and nut filled pastry. For the finale, try Turkish coffee, thick and bitter with grains resembling mud, and sweetened precisely to your taste.