cold yoghurt beverage mixed with salt. The national drink of Turkey it is usually consumed with spicy or meaty meals. Basically made from watered-down yoghurt it is considered one of the most refreshing drinks.

Our experience:

Ayran seems to be consumed with every single meal in Turkey. In any fast-food or fancy restaurant those little cups/bottles/glasses of Ayran will be lined up in the refrigerators just as we’re used to see coke cans and bottles in western fast-food restaurants.
When we arrived on the first night and Omer served us Pide he had of course gotten Ayran to drink with it. Not telling us what it was he put it in front of us as we started eating. I guess Alex thought it was milk, because he looked extremely startled when he took the first sip. Politely pushing the cup away he didn’t drink more of his glass of “half-thick sour milk”. I, on the other hand, was used to European drinking yoghurt (watered down bottled sweet yoghurt) and enjoyed this drink, which seemed like a greek-yoghurt version of the usual drinking yoghurt from home.
As we tried more of the Turkish dishes we realized that this beverage really was perfect for anything spicy. When we left Istanbul even Alex drank Ayran with everything.