Similar to Spanish tapas, meze is the general category of successive small dishes that begin the Turkish meal. These are eaten, along with wine or raki, until the main course is served. Meze specialties exalt the originality and skill of a restaurant. The bare minimum meze includes slices of honeydew melons, creamy feta cheese, and freshly baked bread. A typical meze menu includes dried and marinated mackerel, fresh salad greens in thick yogurt sauce with garlic, plates of cold vegetable dishes cooked or fried in olive oil, savory deep-fried mussels and calamari, tomato and cucumber salad, fish eggs, humus chick peas mashed in tahini, bulgur, raw kofte, marinated stuffed aubergine, red lentil balls, and peppers with spices and nuts.

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