Izmir Aegean Region

About Izmir Aegean Region

Visiting Izmir, the country’s third largest city, is a perfect introduction to the historical background of this regional cuisine. Formerly known as Smyrna, a mass collective of different cultures secured the economic success of the metropolis in 1922 before a major fire. The Jewish, Greek, Levantine and Ottoman communities exchanged recipes and created new dishes that eventually became regional classics.
Turkey’s Aegean region as well as the other six in the geographical area has its own unique local flavors. From vegetable to meat, from salads to desserts, the Aegean Region distinguishes itself from other regions. In addition to being general, each city of the Aegean Region has its own regional dishes.

Main ingredients of Turkish Aegean cuisine. In addition to the wild greens mentioned above, fish, seafood, olive oil and herbs are the main ingredients. The Aegean cuisine is remarkably similar to the Mediterranean one in southern Turkey, but subtle differences that result from local ingredients make them slightly different from the learned gourmet. The Mediterranean coast is considered the capital of citrus fruits of Turkey, thanks to the richly grown oranges. However, the Aegean is the king when it comes to growing olives, a staple of Turkish cuisine. 75 percent of all olives grown in Turkey come from the Aegean Sea, proving that the climate is the ideal condition for the prosperity of the simple tree. While sea bream, sea bass and anchovy (hamsi) are popular throughout Turkey, the Aegean cuisine of simple sardine (sardalya) has a special place. However, ignore any idea of the Western popularity of pickled sardines, as the locals grill them fresh and serve them with a fresh salad of finely chopped tomatoes, onions and peppers.

Let us first remember the cities of the Aegean Region;
  • Kütahya
  • Afyonkarahisar
  • Uşak
  • Denizli
  • Muğla
  • Aydın
  • İzmir
  • Manisa

Especially in the Aegean Region, Afyon and İzmir come to the fore. Afyon is the first regional flavor that comes to mind when it comes to Afyon. Here are the local dishes of the Aegean Region.

After feasting on Turkish mezes (appetizers), large groups sometimes order the house specialty, a whole fish boiled in rock salt. The experience is often an event in itself as the waiters make a dramatic show by lighting it at the table before they fillet and serve it. The city of Bergama is famous for its ancient ruined city of Pergamon and its steep hillside theater. Visitors should also make a detour to find restaurants serving Cigirtma’s regional classic. The chefs combine the main ingredient Patlican (aubergine) with tomatoes, peppers and a very healthy dose of garlic, before seasoning them with salt, black pepper and paprika flakes.
Further south, restaurants on the main road that leads through the town of Soke in the interior, usually only a local court. Cop Sis means rubbish meat, but tasting the small, delicious, grilled pieces with onions, peppers and tomatoes clearly shows that the name reflects the status of a cheap food rather than a bad taste.
Otherwise, return to the restaurants of the city center to discover more local dishes from Aegean Turkey. Our recommendation is zucchini flowers, a seasonal classic that is limited to July, August and September. They must be picked at the right time and should be carefully cleaned to remove the bitter-tasting seeds that can ruin the whole dish.

Filled with rice and emphasizing the use of herbs such as mint, parsley and dill in the region, you will find a chef who has perfected the art of cooking zucchini flowers, and you will be pleasantly introduced to one of the region’s most unusual but tastiest flavors Aegean Cuisine of Turkey.

Izmir Aegean Region Tour

7 Day tour

Our tours are known to immerse our guests in the local lifestyle. To give you a complete personal experience, our groups are small and we live in family hotels or privately owned in a unique environment.

Izmir Aegean Region Culinary Kitchen Menu

Tekke çorbası (Tekke Soup): This soup, which is a delicious soup recipe and belongs to Aegean Cuisine, will really warm you. You can also make a local soup for dinner with Tekke Soup.

Izmir Köfte (Izmir meatball): İzmir is one of the most popular dishes of Turkish Cuisine as well as Aegean. Ramadan tables are never without her!

Sini Manti (​Meat Pasty): Ravioli is a popular dish in the former USSR countries as it is a part of other Central Asian cuisines as well as Turkish cuisine.

Patlıcan silkme (Eggplant Shake): Eggplant shake, which is easy to make both cold and hot, is a delicious low-calorie olive oil dish made in summer.

Çaput aşı(Shoddy vaccine): The vine leaf, which is indispensable for Aegean Cuisine, is in rice instead of a wrap. You can see the creativity of Aegean people much better here.

Boyoz (Izmir’s Peerless Pastry): Boyoz is a Turkish pastry of Sephardic Jewish origin associated with Izmir in Turkey. It is practically the only city in which it is prepared for commercial purposes and follows the original recipe.

Tahinli kabak tatlısı(Pumpkin Dessert with Tahini): At the end of each meal, you will feel sweet. We wanted to crown your after-dinner dessert crises with a practical dessert recipe. You can try both sweet and high-fiber Tahini Pumpkin Dessert.

Ege usulü kaşık helvası(Aegean style spoon halva): Halva, which is defined as the sweetness of mourning and happiness in Turkish culture, contains flour and various materials in its content. Practical and easy halva is made on important days.

Izmir Lokmasi (Izmir Morsel): The bite dessert, which means an Arabic mouth, a sip and a piece of food, decorates our kitchens from the Ottoman Palace to this time.

Izmir Aegean Region Tour

9 Day tour

A typical culinary tour includes picturesque Turkish islands, cooking classes, winery visits, wine tasting, local restaurants, food visits, dairies, olive oil producers and markets. Flavours Tour Guide is home to some of the most authentic culinary holidays in all of Turkey.