Aubergine Dream

Tokat's culinary contribution to the world, the Tokat kebap is made up of skewers of lamb and sliced aubergine (eggplant) hung vertically, then baked in a wood-fired oven. Tomatoes and peppers, which take less time to cook, are baked on separate skewers. As the lamb cooks, it releases juices that baste the aubergine. All these goodies are then served together with a huge fist of roasted garlic, adding an extra punch to the mix.

It's almost worth coming to Tokat just to sample the dish, and in fact you might have to; it's inexplicably failed to catch on in places much further afield than Sivas or Amasya, and Tokat's chefs do it best anyway. Standard patlıcan kebaps (aubergine kebab) that crop up across Turkey are a far cry from the glorious blow-out of the original.