Turkish cuisine is a most reputed cuisine in the world and introduces its unique culinary culture with its thousands of years of experience at delicious festivals. Turkey invites the world’s taste explorers to these festivals offering unprecedented feasts, local delicacies and unique products. We have compiled Turkey’s leading flavor festivals for you.
- Baklava Procession
A tradition from Ottoman times, the Baklava Procession leaves Topkapı Palace on the 15th day of Ramadan and walk to the Hippodrome (At Meydanı), distributing free baklava to people including tourists all along the way. The tradition has survived for centuries into today.
- Street of Centennial Flavors and Artists
This tradition is maintained at the Centennial Flavors and Arts Bazaar in Sultanahmet Square, where great festivities were held in the month of Ramadan during the Ottoman period. Every year, during Ramadan, a dedicated area of traditional Istanbul delicacies opens in Sultanahmet Square in Istanbul. Local and foreign visitors have the opportunity to meet centennial flavors such as halva, delight, roasted and ground coffee, baklava, boza and Kanlıca yogurt. In addition to tasting these special delicacies, visitors also observe how they are traditionally prepared.
- Alaçatı Herb Festival
Alaçatı Herb Festival is held every year in the first week of April and is one of the most attended festivals in Turkey. Every year, around 500,000 visitors come to the festival. You can try products made with various local herbs in the tasting areas established on the streets of Alaçatı. You can also taste exclusive menus in restaurants. Alaçatı Herb Festival allows you to welcome the spring in the merriest way and is the harbinger of the start of summer in Çeşme.
- International Mesir Paste Festival
The Mesir Paste Festival is one of the oldest festivals in Turkey and this year it will celebrate its 480th year. In 2012, UNESCO incorporated the festival into its Intangible Cultural Heritage List. The festival is held during the week of Nauruz each year.
The mesir paste is considered to be a therapeutic food and its emergence is based on a historical story. Hafsa Sultan, mother of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent, suffered from an unexplained disease in Manisa. To cure this disease, Merkez Efendi, the chief physician of the Sultan Mosque Madrasa, prepared a paste consisting of 41 varieties of herbs and spices. This healing mixture called the Mesir paste helped Hafsa Sultan recover quickly and it has made it to our day. Famous for her philanthropy work, Hafsa Sultan demanded that the Mesir paste, which helped her recover, be publicly distributed every year during the Nauruz week. The paste was wrapped in small papers and was thrown at public from a high point at the Sultan Mosque. Since then, festivities are held every year and the Mesir paste is distributed to people gathering around the Sultan Mosque during the same period.
- 101 Flavors Istanbul
101 Taste Istanbul brings together the most beautiful tastes of the city, the most qualified restaurants and the most talented chefs at Esma Sultan Mansion, one of Istanbul’s most magnificent venues. The festival meets the Istanbulites on the last Sunday of April.
- International Gaziantep Gastronomy Festival
Gaziantep was inducted into the Creative Cities Network by UNESCO in 2015 in the field of gastronomy and invites the world to meet unique examples of culinary culture. GastroAntep is held in September every year and serves the unique cuisine of Gaziantep to world-renowned Michelin star chefs, gastronomy professionals, academics, students and anyone interested in gastronomy.
- Gastro Afyon Flavor Festival
Afyon has been home to many civilizations since the earliest history and has a huge potential for gastronomic tourism which enabled it to enter UNESCO’s Creative Cities Network in 2019 in the field of gastronomy.
Many surprises await guests at the Gastro Afyon Flavor Festival, where the unique tastes of Afyon will be appreciated and attendees will enjoy a unique experience.
- Istanbul Coffee Festival
Istanbul Coffee Festival brings together brands and attendees around the epicenter of qualified coffee at KüçükÇiftlik Park in September. Panels, workshops, seminars and concerts are held to enable attendees to taste various types of coffee and participate in pleasant activities.
- Adana Flavor Festival
During the first week of October, Adana Flavor Festival is held under the theme of “Great Mediterranean Feast” and globally introduces Adana’s “most” local and “most” traditional culinary culture. The festival is preparing to host a gastronomy feast in Adana for three days with the participation of international celebrities.
- Geyve Quince Festival
The beginning of the harvest period for “Geyve quince”, which has a special taste thanks to its juicy and hard structure, sugar quantity and balanced acidic content, is celebrated with this festival. The Quince Festival is held every October and turns into a local flavor feast offering quince desserts, flavor contests and chats with chefs.
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