The food culture of a society is closely related to its way of living. It develops over the course of time according to changes in the way of living. Many years ago, the Turks led a nomadic life, depending on agriculture and breeding domestic animals, as other societies had done in other parts of the world.
Once living conditions became unfavourable in Central Asia, they moved south westwards and there were new plants and animals in these new settlements. As the Turks became familiar with their new surroundings, they gradually began to rear animals and plant crops specific to the region; invented simple methods to process the foods they produced; they also learned to store some of these foods for winter months.
Most Turkish dishes are good combinations of well balanced foods and/or ingredients. For example: Dolma and Sarma (stuffed and wrapped vegetables), soups made with lentils, meat and vegetables, rice or bulgur from Bread-Cereals group and finally yogurt, which is served with most of these dishes. Meat and vegetable stews are always served with rice or bulgur pilafs. The main ingredient of Borek is plain or raised dough made from egg, milk, yogurt, oil and flour.
Meat, cheese, vegetables with herbs and a variety of seasonings are used as fillings in borek. Yogurt-based soups with a variety of cereals and meat and /or legume mixtures are also perfect combinations. Dried legumes are combined with vegetables, meat and cereals. Pilafs are made with meat, chicken, fish and or variety vegetables. Pilafs are also good side dishes for dried vegetables. They are usually served with ayran or cacik. Kebabs are prepared with vegetables and served with Turkish bread pilaffs and ayran.
Desserts are mostly pastry-based, and commonly include nuts and syrup. The most popular desserts include Baklava, lokma, tulumba tatlisi, kadayif and kunefe.