Turkish food is known as one of the world’s great cuisines. It’s known both for its more complicated dishes and for the wealth of street food on offer. But for some reason, the variety and deliciousness of Turkish sandwiches remains underappreciated. Well, we’re here to remedy that situation!

Sandwiches is Turkish are typically called "tost". While "sandviç" is a borrowing that has made its way into the Turkish language, what in English we tend to call sandwiches tend to be referred to as "tost" (pronounced "toast," with the etymology of the word the same) in Turkey.

Sandwiches are sold typically at little stalls all along the streets of major cities. Some sandwiches are known to come particularly from specific regions, but at this point you can find these sandwiches made fresh and hot in many different places all over the country. This list is by no means comprehensive, but it represents a perfectly respectable start!

Kaşarlı

This is the simplest of all the sandwiches of Turkey. Kaşar is one of the staple cheeses of Turkey. It has a buttery and tangy flavor that makes it suitable to eat with any meal. It melts very well, getting hot and stringy and adding to its flavor, which is light enough to not subtract from any other flavors being added to the sandwich. It’s almost always grilled using butter, which is an important ingredient for all Turkish sandwiches. While other sandwiches often feature condiments like mayonnaise and ketchup, kaşarlı is almost always eaten comparatively dryly.

A kaşar tost is essentially what we would call a grilled cheese sandwich, and the fact that it’s available all over most major cities is a luxury one wishes you could find elsewhere in the world!

Ayvalık

Toast Sucuk (often spelled “sujuk” in English) is a dry, spicy beef sausage common throughout the region. In this delicious sandwich, the spice of the sucuk are cut with kaşar cheese and tomatoes are added to give it a little sweetener. It’s then grilled with butter so that the cheese bleeds into the whole sandwich and the tomatoes get warm and juicy as well. The spice of the sucuk are the largest flavor of this sandwich, but the other two ingredients cut it just about perfectly. Some places will add condiments like ketchup and mayonnaise, with pickles often added as well.

Kumru

This sandwich is most famous for coming from the city of Izmir along the Aegean coast. Its name translates to “collared dove” due to the overall shape of the sandwich. Less than grilled, kumru is typically griddled on a flat top, but it’s what goes inside that makes it so delicious. It’s a mixture of different kinds of sausages including sucuk as they’re cooked on a griddle and topped with a healthy dollop of kaşar cheese. Tomatoes, pickles and chilis are added and when the bread itself is freshly baked (which it almost always is in Turkey) then this is really one of the best sandwiches in the world. Some people add ketchup and mayonnaise, but probably when the sandwich is cooked just right it’s unnecessary.

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