The rise of Turkish cuisine

PUBLISHED: 10:18 06 May 2016 | UPDATED: 10:18 06 May 2016

© kzenon, Getty Images

© kzenon, Getty Images

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The rise of Turkish cuisine, a healthier way to indulge

The Doner kebab has always been a favourite but Britons are increasingly waking up to the fact that Turkish food offers an incredibly wide range of delicious dishes, in-keeping with today’s preference for healthier cuisine.

With its European, Asian, Middle Eastern and African influences, there’s something for everyone and the number of new Turkish restaurants and cafes opening their doors across the UK show just how popular this simple, tasty fare has become.

George Kucuk, owner of Mezze in Woodford, says: ‘Turkish cuisine is on the rise because it offers culinary delights that are good for you. It balances an indulgent night out with the drive to be healthy.

‘We use fresh, quality ingredients and get creative, producing dishes that are attractive, tasty and leave you feeling virtuous.’

With its emphasis on grilled meats, vegetables, olive oil and salads, Turkish food ensures you can treat yourself to a night out at a restaurant without it taking a toll on your waistline.

George say: ‘It’s not about denying yourself. Turkish food is decadent but wholesome. Our meat is marinated in quality olive oil and herbs and cooked to ensure it’s crispy outside but succulent inside. Our chargrilled vegetables are packed with that delicious smoky flavour without losing their crunch. It’s about enjoying that taste and texture without piling on the pounds.’

As a nation we’ve become increasingly health-conscious in recent years and diners are now keen to know exactly what’s gone in to their meals. The simplicity of Turkish cuisine means, whether you’re gluten free, on Atkins or simply counting your calories, it’s clear what is on your plate.

George says: ‘Some types of cuisine can become very complicated with dozens of ingredients all competing with each other.

‘Turkish food is about simplicity and purity. The focus is always on flavour, we use fresh, quality ingredients in preparing all of our dishes, be it our shish or salads, so you know exactly what it is you are getting.’

Mezze has recently introduced a lunchtime selection of wraps and salads to meet customer demand for more health-conscious options.

George says: ‘Again the focus is on quality and simplicity, for example our Ezme salad which combines parsley, finely diced tomato and garlic which is incredibly flavoursome without being complex.’

The mezze platters are also an incredibly popular choice, offering a light bite which gives diners the opportunity to enjoy favourites and try new things without feeling gluttonous.

George says, “Increasingly our customers want more healthy options on the menu. People generally tend to be more educated when it comes to food and they really want something nutritious that doesn’t sacrifice taste or their experience.

‘On the whole, Turkish cuisine proves that it’s possible to enjoy fine dining, to have a great evening out with delicious food that is incredibly healthy but feels decadent. You can take care of yourself but feel like you are spoiling yourself rotten.’

Mezze

24 The Broadway, Woodford Green IG8 0HQ. 020 85044034. www.mezzerestaurant.co.uk

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