Talya Written by
from Turkey

MSc Foundations of Clinical Psychology

Hello guys! This is Talya from Turkey. I am currently studying my Masters degree in Clinical Psychology at BU. Today I will talk about my experience with adapting to the English cuisine and will give some tips for cooking!

What’s the main difference between the Turkish and the English cuisine?

Turkish cuisine originates from Middle Eastern, Eastern European and Balkan food. It’s mostly Mediterranean food and it can be quite different to English cuisine. We use a variety of traditional spices, homemade tomato sauce (salça), and we are fond of tea, Turkish coffee and the traditional Turkish breakfast. I share my house in Bournemouth with other English students and I cannot remember a day where they haven’t questioned my choices in the kitchen. They believe I spend a lot of time cooking, meal-prepping and planning, and they are very curious to try out my dishes. Feta cheese, yoghurt, black olives, homemade tomato paste, meatballs, strong Turkish coffee… These are all very different to what is eaten in the UK. The English cuisine is usually roasted and stewed meals, pies, and vegetable broths. I believe there is more of a vegetable and meat variety in Turkish cuisine as the climate and the location really impacts the kind of food the locals consume.

Be prepared

Since this wasn’t my first time coming to live in the UK, I came prepared. I travelled to the UK with lots of spices such as red pepper, meatball spice, thyme, basil and even black pepper. Even though there are spices in the UK, they smell and taste different. Also, spices are not a priority for UK dishes. British cuisine also welcomes other cultural foods such as Indian, Chinese, Greek, Lebanese etc. I love cooking and whenever I miss my mother’s dishes, she is only a call away to give me instructions. Of course, it doesn’t taste the same as the ingredients are not local, but it still helps you relieve your cravings.

Where to find Turkish food in Bournemouth

There are international markets around Bournemouth as it’s a very international town full of students coming from different countries. You can find Turkish, Greek, Polish, Indian, Chinese and lots of other traditional ingredients in those international markets. Although the price slightly differs from their country of origin, they’re still reasonable for students to go and make their own food. I prefer to go to these markets and get my spices and tomato sauce just in case I run out of them. Also, for eating out, since there are a variety of options you quickly adapt. There are dozens of Turkish restaurants and kebab houses around the town and they’re always welcoming you to join them for a meal!