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Turkish cuisine is an ancient collection of tradition changed by the slow march of entering neighbouring cuisines. Western European contributes cheese-making techniques and vegetables; the use of yoghurt enters from central Asia; and the Middle East contributes her spice set. Permeable borders due to conquest and heavy trade make for geographic regions not bound by delineation on a map. As a result, “Turkish cuisine” is fragmented by gradual dilution of its core ingredient set to produce region-centric dishes and a population proud of heirloom recipes. Bread is typical throughout. Simple, they contain flour, oil, eggs, yeast, sugar, and salt, but flatbread pide and ring-shaped simit also contain toasted sesame seeds to offer a flavour markedly different from other breads. Areas in Turkey suffer from summers that rival Australian ones, and dishes meant to be served cold are on the menu. Beetroot, carrot, cucumber, capsicum, and eggplant are sliced immediately before serving. Olive oil, yoghurt, tahini, lemon juice, and hummus complete the meal with blasts of strong flavour. Cheese, tomatoes, cucumbers, and melons also make a complete summer meal. Beyaz peynir (Turkish: "white cheese") is a salty brined cheese reminiscent of a weak feta that frequently is cooked into breads. KaÅŸar is the other prominently Turkish cheese; it is sheep cheese similar to the Greek kasseri, and it more closely resembles a mild cheddar than other Turkish cheeses. Similar and with a name that speaks of Italian roots, kaÅŸkaval is a wheel-shaped yellow sheep's cheese. Classically Turkish breads are cooked in brick ovens, but the Australian version is frequently cooked over hot coals. The presence of a grill easily produces a number of accompanying main courses. Charcoal-grilled chicken, duck, prawns, beef fillets, lamb, and mushrooms may be quickly prepared and served over bread. Slow-cooked lamb recipes are likely to be performed faithfully, but a myriad of sausages recombine old flavour with new; complex mixtures are lifted to the sides of the mouth with the inclusion of raw red onions, sumac, citrus, and mustard. Turkish restaurants are proud to reproduce old favourites, but have never been shy to modify their food based on what's available. Australian patrons benefits from Turkey's long history of incorporating foreign techniques and ingredients. Here Turkish cuisine produces flavours that are foreign and whimsical but fresh and familiar at the same time.

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