Turkish cuisine which has inherited the Ottoman heritage could be described as a fusion and refinement of Turkic, Arabic, Greek, Armenian and Persian cuisines. Ottomans fused various culinary traditions of their realm with influences from Middle Eastern cuisines, along with traditional Turkic elements from Central Asia such as yogurt. The Ottoman Empire indeed created a vast array of technical specialities. It can be observed that various regions of the Ottoman Empire contain bits and pieces of the vast Ottoman dishes.
İzmir's cuisine has largely been affected by its multicultural history, hence the large variety of food originating from the Aegean, Mediterranean and Anatolian regions.
Another factor is the large area of land surrounding the region which grows a rich selection of vegetables. Some of the common dishes found here are tarhana soup (made from dried yoghurt and tomatoes), İzmir köfte, keşkek (boiled wheat with meat), zerde (sweetened rice with saffron) and mücver (made from zucchini and eggs).
Historically, as a result of the influx of Greek refugees from İzmir (as well as from other parts of Asia Minor and Istanbul) to mainland Greece after 1922, the cuisine of İzmir has had an enormous impact on Greek cuisine, exporting many sophisticated spices and foods.
Restaurants in İzmir