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Central Anatolia Region

The region is characterized by mountains and plateaus. The climate is semiarid and continental (cold, snowy winters, dry and hot summers). Due to the harsh climate, fresh foods are often dried and pickled in preparation for long storage. A local specialty, tarhana is made from yoghurt, flour, onions, and peppers which are mixed and then left to ferment. After that, it is dried and crumbled. Tarhana can be stored for long periods of time and is used to make soup and other dishes. The cuisines of Inner Anatolia are also based on foods rich in carbohydrates (especially wheat products and rice) and proteins, as well as vegetables (potatoes, onions, lentils, and beans) and fruits.

Manti is a specialty from Kayseri and consists of small dumplings filled with ground meat, boiled and steamed, and then covered with yoghurt, melted butter, and chili flakes. Pastirma, another local specialty, is cured and air-dried beef laced with garlic and spices. Testi kebab, which originated from Cappadocia and Yozgat Province, is a mixture of meat and vegetables cooked over fire in a clay pot sealed with bread dough. Etli ekmek (which means “bread with meat” in Turkish) is a specialty of Konya and resembles the lahmacun. For locally developed desserts, we should mention bread kadayif (in Afyonkarahisar) and halka tatli, a ring-shaped dessert.

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