Although there are several outlets in Fethiye bearing the names of global fast food chains, many say that the town’s own, home grown fast food options are the best for price, value for money and most importantly, flavour. They think they are healthier too.
Feeling peckish? Go Turkish…
These days, no matter where we live, when we feel a bit peckish, we are inclined to think about fast food. And when the term fast food is mentioned we usually think about specific brands of beef-burgers, chicken, pizza and so on.
However, in Fethiye, like the rest of Turkey, there are some very mouth-watering opportunities to grab an alternative bite to eat. What’s more, there are fast food options for carnivores, vegetarians and pescetarians too.
All the fast food we celebrate today are the products of independent businesses that depend on their time-earned reputation for providing tasty food rather than a massive marketing budget and world famous logo.
This is a celebration of traditional Turkish fast food – which many would say is the best in the world! Let’s begin by thinking about what’s on offer:
We know there is no need to explain what a diner kebab is. Fethiye has several excellent ones. Made using local lamb from Fethiye butcher, Bizim Kasap (Çarıklı), generally the döner is eaten at lunchtime and the restaurants close soon after – so dont leave it too late.
Grilled meatballs in bread with salad.
Sweet corn that is either boiled or boiled and grilled… they come from the fields around Fethiye and couldn’t be fresher. Stalls selling them can be seen in the Tuesday market and Friday market and often by the side of main inter-city roads too.
Often called pancakes, gözleme are a popular snack – or full blown lunch if you like – in villages around Fethiye and the weekly markets. The women (and it invariably is women) who make them sit next to the fire while skilfully rolling out the dough until it is paper thin. These are covered with cheese, herbs, potato (sometimes mince too), folded and grilled on a saç (sach) or large upturned wok-shaped pan.
Cooked mussels, stuffed with a little spicy rice; the meat of the mussel is prepared so it slips easily off the shell.
Fish in bread – with salad. Whether it is a fillet of mackerel or mezgit (whiting), served with salad these are renowned for their tastiness, especially when they are eaten by the sea or on a boat.
Bread and pies
Those wonderful round, double-cooked, bread rings, dipped in pekmez (molasses) and sesame are ubiquitous street food. They can be nibbled at any time of the day; however, they are also a popular fast food option served with cheese and salad or as part of a Full Turkish breakfast.
Börek shops – possibly the Turkish equivalent to a pie or pasty shop. With various fillings, they make a great fast food option.
In Fethiye, pide means pide. These are long, narrow pasty bases, covered in a variety of toppings. Their shape makes them much easier to eat on the hoof than their round cousins.
No story on fast food would be complete with a mention of kokoreç. Made by an usta (the Turkish word for master craftsman) from various parts of lamb offal, Kokoreç at its best is crispy and full of flavour.
24 hour fast food
There are wonderful lokanta too, where you can tuck into a bowl of soup at any time of the day or night and plates of hot, tasty food are on the table within minutes of placing your order.
Are you hungry yet?
It wouldn’t be a surprise if you were – and thinking about how soon you can come to Fethiye… So, we look forward to seeing you tucking in to one or more of these (not all at the same time though) sometime in 2017… And remember, eating them supports Fethiye, as the ingredients they use are locally sourced. This means that the money you spend stays in the local economy and this ultimately benefits the community.
So, when you’re next in Fethiye and feeling peckish – remember to go Turkish!