Explore Istanbul

Turkish Breakfasts…

Food, What's New — By Aysegul Surenkok on March 22, 2010 at 7:44 pm

We talk about them (the Turkish breakfasts) all the time and recommend our visitors to definitely brunch against the Bosphorus and to experience the Turkish style breakfast; but have not yet defined exactly what we eat and how we eat.

The Turkish way to start off the day is unlike any other around the world. Unlike the Italian brioche with marmalade, we -the Turkish- feast on the salted side with a variety of different food and ingredients. This legendary meal is usually not happening on a given weekday -since most people can barely dress themselves up in the morning. So, the business people in their rush to their offices, don’t necessariy feast on anything; maybe grab a simit (Turkish bagel with sesame) on their way to work.

Nevertheless, weekends are an entirely different story… Much like Thanksgiving or any other celebratory meal, the weekend breakfasts are special to the Turkish people. Whether it is among the family or with friends, gathering at a friend’s or relative’s house for breakfast or going out for breakfast are typical activities in the Turkish community.

To have an authentic experience I recommend Kale Cafe & Patisserie by the Bosphorus lane in Emrigan -be ware of its imitators in Rumeli Hisarı- or Bebek Kahve in Bebek or Sade Kahve in Rumeli Hisarı.

Order everything to the middle. You are not supposed to eat separate dishes as if you were at dinner. Start with the cold dishes: cheese (feta cheese is our favorite, but you can always ask for variety), söğüş (cucumbers and tomatoes sliced and seasoned with virgin olive oil and thyme), olives, salami and butter. As you slowly consume these starters, move onto the hot dishes: menemen (a unique egg dish that exists in no other part of the world -tomatoes, green peppers, egg and cheese mashed and cooked together), scrambled egg of your choice -with salami, sucuk (fermented sausage) or cheese-, sahanda yumurta -eggs cooked whole in a shallow cooking pan-, paçanga böreği (pastry with melted mozeralla cheese and pastrami), sigara böreği (pastry with feta cheese and grassroots), gözleme (salty waffles or wraps with potato, feta cheese, kaşar cheese, grasses, spinach, minced meat and more), grilled halloumi cheese and grilled sucuk (like milanese salami) or pastrami.

If you have a sweet tooth, don’t forget to eat honey & cream (whipped from full fat milk) spread into warm pita bread. Digestive suggestion: bitter Turkish coffee and a long walk!

[Images my own, custom image of breakfast at Namlı Gurme]

Tags: Bosphorus, Breakfast

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