Turks have been considered to be of Central Asian descent. However it is clear that since 9th century, living in western Asia, the Caucasus, the Middle East and Anatolia, they lived in close relations with the local communities of these regions.
As the most powerful empire in the world -the Ottoman Empire- increased their borders, they were exposed to many different minority cultures. Under the rule of Ottoman Empire these minorities were allowed to practice their own beliefs and customs, hence creating the ground for cultural interaction between the Ottomans and the minorities.
These culinary cultures of Ottoman Heritage reflect the taste of the Turkic people over a broad geographical region. Climate and geography, as the greatest elements influencing culinary culture, holds an important place in man’s eating habits and needs. However alongside this, people’s tastes are formed by the entire range of their cultural values as well.
In this section we will examine the culinary cultures of the Turkmen, Tatars, Azerbaijanis, Uzbeks and other peoples over an area ranging from Central Asia to the Caucasus, the Balkans and the shores of the Aegean Sea.