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Turkish food ranks high among the world's great cuisines. Its taste and depth place it with French and Chinese; its simplicity and healthfulness rank it number one. Developed by Turkish peasants for whom eating was obviously a great pleasure, Turkish cooking evolved to include the sophisticated palace cooking of Istanbul. It remains, however, a simple cuisine based on fragrant Mediterranean ingredients combined in exciting and unexpected ways.
Ayla Algar, a Turkish-born lecturer at the University of California, Berkeley, provides American cooks with 175 recipes for this vibrant and tasty food, presented against the rich and fascinating backdrop of Turkish history and culture. Tempting recipes for kebabs, pilafs meze (appetizers), dolmas (those delicious stuffed vegetables or vine leaves), soups, fish, manti and other pasta dishes, lamb, poultry, yogurt, bread, baklava and other traditional sweets are introduced here to American cooks in accessible form, easy for any home cook to make. With its emphasis on grains, vegetables, fruits, olive oil and other healthy foods, Turkish cooking puts a new spin on familiar ingredients and offers culinary adventure coupled with a satisfying and delicious diet.