Typical Dish

Antakya, Hatay, Turkey

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Antakya, also known as Hatay, is a beautiful city located in the southern part of Turkey, near the border of Syria. It is the capital city of the Hatay Province and is home to approximately 400,000 people. The city has a rich history, as it was once a part of the Ottoman Empire and has also been ruled by the Byzantines and Romans throughout its history. Today, Antakya is a modern city that blends ancient history with a vibrant culture and cuisine.

One of the most notable aspects of Antakya is its cuisine, which is a unique blend of Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, and Turkish influences. The food in Antakya is known for its bold flavors and use of fresh, local ingredients.

One of the most famous dishes in Antakya is hummus. This creamy dip is made from chickpeas, tahini (sesame paste), olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and salt. Hummus is typically served as an appetizer with pita bread or vegetables. In Antakya, it is often garnished with sumac or paprika, which adds a tangy flavor to the dish.

Another popular appetizer in Antakya is muhammara, which is a red pepper and walnut dip. This dip is made by blending roasted red peppers, walnuts, bread crumbs, garlic, lemon juice, and pomegranate molasses. The result is a rich and flavorful dip that is often served with pita bread or crackers.

When it comes to main courses, Antakya has many delicious options to choose from. One of the most popular dishes is künefe, which is a dessert made from shredded phyllo dough, cheese, and syrup. The phyllo dough is layered with cheese and then baked until it is crispy and golden brown. The dessert is then soaked in a sweet syrup, which gives it a decadent flavor.

Another popular main course in Antakya is kibbeh. This dish is made from bulgur wheat, ground beef or lamb, and spices. The mixture is shaped into small balls or patties and then fried or baked. Kibbeh is often served with a yogurt sauce or a side salad.

In Antakya, there are many delicious drinks to accompany these dishes. One of the most popular is şalgam suyu, which is a fermented turnip juice. This drink has a tangy and slightly sour flavor and is often served with spicy foods. Another popular drink is ayran, which is a yogurt-based drink that is similar to a lassi. Ayran is typically served chilled and is a refreshing accompaniment to spicy or heavy meals.

In terms of dining habits, people in Antakya tend to enjoy their meals in a relaxed and leisurely manner. Lunch is typically the largest meal of the day and is often eaten with family or friends. Dinner is usually lighter and is served later in the evening. Many restaurants in Antakya offer outdoor seating, which allows diners to enjoy the beautiful weather and scenery while they eat.