REPUBLIC OF TURKEY MINISTRY OF CULTURE AND TOURISM

Food and Beverages Eaten at Meals

Until late Ottoman times there were generally two meals in the day, one in late morning and dinner.

Today the main meals are breakfast, lunch and dinner. In some regions, one more meal, known as “yatsilik, uykuluk or yat-geber yemegi,” is added to these, especially in the long winter nights. Another meal is sometimes eaten in the late afternoon, especially on neighbourhood visits.

The main items eaten at breakfast are generally cheese, olives, bread, eggs and jam. At breakfast, where the main beverage is tea, different types of cheese, sausage, tomato, cucumber, pepper and other regional foods may be eaten.

The tradition of eating soup, honey, molasses and clotted cream still continues in some villages.

Lunches consist of stews, soup, salads etc. Desserts, meat and food which take a long time to prepare are not eaten.
At dinner, a menu consisting of soup, a main course, salad and dessert is eaten. Since dinner is the only meal at which family members can sit around a table together, it is the richest and most carefully prepared meal of the day.

In the last meal of the day, called “yatsilik,” appetizers, fruits and nuts are eaten. Although it has largely been replaced by the tea, the drinking of boza (a beverage made of slightly fermented millet) and eating of dried fruit pulps still continue in some regions.