Denizli cuisine draws attention with its unique rich variety of dishes and its registered traditional products such as Tavas baklava, Kale pepper, Serinhisar roasted chickpea, Çameli beans. In Denizli, where vegetable dishes are predominant, with the influence of the culinary culture of Aegean region, local meat dishes are also made. In Denizli, eggplant dishes such as dry stuffed eggplant and roasted eggplant are common. Black Eyed Peas Salad with Tarator, Mallow Salad, Sprout Salad are local salad types. Soup varieties such as cat bean soup, ball tarhana soup, ovmaç soup, Arap aşı soup are made. Aegean Region characteristics are seen in pastry and dessert types. Basin pastry, Muhajir nut / pastry, katmer and Ashura are among the other delicacies that can be tasted in Denizli.
Denizli Kebab, a local dish of Denizli, famous for its taste, is a kind of tandoori kebab cooked in a wood oven and requires quite a skill to make. Lamb meat is cooked slowly by roasting across the wood fire in a custom made oven and served without the use of cutlery.
Keskek is a ceremonial dish unique to Turkish culture. Traditional Keskek meal, which is made throughout the city, especially in Babadağ district of Denizli, is served as the main dish at weddings, solidarity days, ceremonies and celebrations. Boiled sheep or goat meat is mixed with boiled and pounded wheat and served with butter. The tradition of Keşkek food is kept alive in Babadağ with the Traditional Keşkek Day event held in September every year.
Tavas Baklava and Tavas Honey Tahini Pita
Tavas Baklava is a dumpling with sherbet prepared with unique traditional ingredients and methods on all special occasions such as engagement, wedding and holidays. Making Tavas Baklava, which leaves an unforgettable taste on the palates with walnuts poured into each layer of 40 layers of phyllo meeting sherbet, requires a different skill. What makes Tavas Baklava special is the ingredients and cooking technique used in it. The Baklava phyllo is rolled up using “urga flour”, which is a mixture of wheat, whole wheat and barley flour. It is cooked for 25-30 minutes in a wood oven called a black oven in a copper tray over an oak wood fire. In order to get the real taste of Tavas Baklava, it must be rested for a day. It is recommended to eat the baklava, which is ready for service, by hand.
The famous taste of Tavas, Pide with Tahini with Honey, is consumed as a dessert, unlike traditional pita. Dough meringues made of yeast dough are rolled by hand and covered with tahini mixture. After resting for a while, pide with tahini, cooked on a wood fire, is sweetened by pouring honey on it and served hot. This pita, which must be tasted, is called “İçli-Dışlı” by Tavas people.
Kale Pepper and Pepper Tatar
Denizli’s Kale district’s rich soil in terms of nutrients and organic matter and its mild climate allow the cultivation of Kale Pepper, a delicious and registered pepper specific to the region. Kale Pepper, known to have been produced in Kale and its surroundings for about a hundred years, is produced in the local area that has a microclimate in the region and covers the Akçay Basin. Kale Pepper can be consumed fresh as well as fried, tomato paste, ground pepper, chili pepper, roasted, dried (fried and boiled).
Pepper Tatar is a flavor made from Kale Pepper, unique to the region. Dried peppers are boiled, stems and seeds are removed and fried in oil. The potatoes that are cut to the appropriate size are fried. Salt and garlic are pounded and added to the suitable strained yogurt. Fried peppers and potatoes are laid on yogurt. It is served cold.
Serinhisar Roasted Chickpeas
Denizli, which meets most of the chickpea production in Türkiye, is famous for its roasted chickpeas produced in Serinhisar district. Chickpeas, the raw material of roasted chickpeas, are supplied from Uşak, Balıkesir and Kütahya provinces. For roasted chickpea production, there must be a climate that is described as highland air. In Denizli, which has a favorable climate, the traditional production method is used because it is produced by experienced producers who are familiar with the production of roasted chickpeas since childhood. The production process of roasted chickpeas is exceedingly difficult and long. For this reason, roasted chickpea production is mostly done by family business owners and traditional production knowledge is passed on from generation to generation. The traditional production steps of roasting, annealing and resting processes are well planned, and Serinhisar Roasted Chickpeas, produced with conscious and high-quality production, has a distinct flavor.
The soil rich in organic matter and the favorable climate of Çameli district, which has a plateau feature, ensures the cultivation of delicious and nutritious bean species unique to the region in large areas. Çameli Fasülyesi (Çameli Bean), which is produced in almost all Çameli, is grown with seeds transferred from generation to generation and by traditional methods. The characteristics of Çameli Beans, such as their characteristic flavor, aroma, quick cooking and not crusting when cooked, stem from the natural conditions of the region. Çameli Bean, quite helpful in meeting the need for vegetable proteins, is among Türkiye’s geographical indication products.
Hackberry Leaves Yogurt
Widespread in the Mediterranean climate, pistacia terebinthus consists of fresh shoots of hackberry tree, also known as mastic tree. Hackberry Leaves Yogurt, one of the cold flavors unique to Denizli, is served by boiling hackberry leaves and vine leaves and pouring garlic yogurt. The leeks and dill are roasted in butter and added to the hackberry leaves and the vine leaves, and cooked over low heat with the addition of bulgur. After it cools down, garlic yogurt is poured over it. In order to make it both more delicious and look nicer, chili peppers roasted in butter and fried dried peppers are added on top. Hackberry leaves yogurt, a delicious and light meal, is among the special tastes that must be tasted in Denizli.
In Çameli, trout production is carried out throughout the year in the cool waters of Kanlıçay, formed by the accumulation of spring waters flowing from snow-covered mountains for most of the year. In addition, production is also made in Karaçay, which is fed from more than 200 sources, providing a suitable environment for trout production with its clean water and plenty of oxygen. The clean nature and climate of Çameli district provide favorable conditions for delicious and healthy trout production. The most important feature of Çameli trout is that it is delicious and has a high nutritional value due to fact that the water is cool and has an abundant mineral content.
Thyme and Sage in Pamukkale Gözler
In Gözler Neighborhood of Pamukkale district, thyme and sage are produced due to the suitability of the soil and climate conditions of the region. Denizli, which meets the need of the majority of Türkiye’s thyme, has made its name by making thyme exports to many countries. Produced by local farmers in organic ways, thyme can be harvested at high quality by using fresh saplings and keeping the soil moist. Thyme seedlings planted in March become suitable for harvest in May-June. Used in many areas, especially in the spice, pharmaceutical, cosmetics and chemical industries, thyme adds flavor and aroma to meals and salads.
Another aromatic plant grown in Pamukkale is sage. Quality sage can be produced since it adapts well to the soil and climate conditions of the region. Sage produced by local producers by natural methodsadds value to Pamukkale’s eco-tourism. Sage, a medicinal plant, can be brewed and consumed in winter to protect against diseases. It is known that it is good for sore throats and mouth sores thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties.