I have mentioned the controversy surrounding our beloved street delicacies simit and gevrek in my earlier blog on Turkish breakfast. They are so loved that we even have a snack on them from Ulker.
Without further ado let’s mention why these two pastries create such a problem among Turkish people.
First of all, these bagel-shaped delicacies are called Simit in every part of Turkey except İzmir. Here’s where the problem starts. Simit and gevrek are actually very different not just in name but in flavor and shape as well. Being round doesn’t make them simit or gevrek. Yes, they look alike but their preparations and even the ingredients are different.
Simit is made from leavened dough with sugar, milk, and oil. After given its round shape, the simit is covered with sesame and put in the oven.
Gevrek is made from leavened dough too but this one involves chickpea leaven and instead of sugar and milk, it consists of water, oil, and salt. After its round shape, gevrek is put inside boiling pekmez and stays in it for around 10 minutes. At the end of this part, sesames are added and put in the oven. Since gevrek goes through two different processes, it makes gevrek crispier than simit. If you try to translate “gevrek” the answer you will get is “crispy”. The argument from Izmirians starts there. Simit also means life buoy in Turkish. It might be a funny argument but hey who am I to judge? I am from İzmir too 😊
Now you know why we suppress the difference between these two delicacies. We have no problem with simit but don’t come to Izmir and call gevrek, simit. Even their shape has a slight difference as simit is twisted to give its shape but gevrek is just round. You can taste both on street vendors but take a good look as the vendors will be called gevrekçi in Izmir and simitçi in Istanbul. Add a cup of tea and some cheese and egg next to it and you’re good to go.
Don’t have the time or the budget to visit all the way to Turkey? We got you covered! Although we still don’t have gevrek snacks, there are Simit crackers by Ulker in most of our boxes. Give them a try!
Our boxes include simit crackers: