No, I don’t mean for dinner. I’m talking about a holiday where the delicious local cuisine will put shrivelled sprouts and mince pies to shame.
With dire predictions of another freezing winter in the UK, what could be more appropriate than a Christmas or New Year holiday in Turkey in the resort of Side? And what could be better than experiencing great new food and drink, miles away from the snow, the ice and the dreadful television that you’re usually subjected to at this time of year? Ok, winning the lottery would be pretty great – but I’m not sure Santa stocks winning lottery tickets in his sack of gifts.
More than doner kebabs
Sitting at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, Turkish food has been influenced by many different cultures throughout history; luckily for us, that means there is a huge choice of dishes. In the UK, we’ve become more aware of meze in recent years and this is a traditional way of starting a Turkish dinner. Main courses tend to consist of meat, often lamb, or freshly grilled fish.
When staying on the southern Mediterranean coast at Side, the bustling family-run Emir Pansion Bistro Café offers a real taste of Turkey through its excellent meze and delightful fish main courses. For an even more authentic experience, go where the locals go and dine at Cihan Pide Kebap Restaurant. It’s not fancy or picturesque, but it does offer good food and great value for money.
If dining local has left you feeling particularly adventurous (and organised), why not go on a traditional Turkish picnic?
And to drink?
The unofficial Turkish national drink is raki, an anise-flavoured alcoholic drink that can be served straight or mixed with soda or water. It is colourless but will turn cloudy when mixed with water, which is no cause for alarm.
Drink it to accompany some of your lovely cold meze in the Turkish sun and you’ll never want to look at another sprout again.