Authentic Rize cuisine’s base element is the small fish is the main ingredient of many recipes including anchovy bread, steamed anchovies, rice pilaf with anchovy, hamsi kuşu (fried anchovy), anchovy soup, hamsi çığırtası (anchovy pancakes), hamsikoli (corn flour cake with anchovy).
Since the climate conditions do not allow wheat cultivation, the corn is held in high esteem. This is the reason why, when one says bread in Rize it is mainly cornbread that comes to the mind. With some local butter on top, it is simply the perfect food to tickle your taste buds!
Rize’s most-renowned specialty muhlama (melted cheese and cornmeal) consists of a delicious slow-cooked slurry with corn flour, butter and a special cheese whereas the less-known hoşmer is a mixture of corn flour, cheese and whole milk. One might even call muhlama, a delicious local fondue.
Haşıl is a special dish cooked with kavut flour which is a flour obtained by grinding roasted pumpkin seeds, roasted honey beans and roasted corn together in a mill.
Honey making is an important occupation in Rize plateaus that offer a variety of endemic plants. Unique and famous in the whole World, Anzer honey is produced especially in the plateaus with wildflower vegetation.
The modern world’s favorite vegetable kale is a well-known and frequently used component of Rize cuisine. Delicious and healthy, kale is the main ingredient of diverse dishes such as kale soup with beans, stuffed kale leaves and kale paste.
The brown trout is also a specialty of the region and the Black Sea. There is a fishing ban for the specie, but it is also widely farmed and constitutes a delicious fish option.
In Türkiye, 60% of the tea plantations are in Rize. Relaxing and delighting, the drink is the most popular item on the breakfast tables and most consumed beverage type in Türkiye. It is also a perfect souvenir.
Rize has also many specialties registered as a geographical indication namely Rize simit (bagel dipped in molasses), Rize kavurması (preserved fried lamb), baston bread, Çayeli dried beans in sauce and Derepazarı pita.
Other important ingredients that form the basis of Rize cuisine are beans also known as “lobia”, courgettes, kale, potatoes, and dairy products like minci (a special cottage cheese), butter and cheese.