Skipping breakfast because you’re not a morning person? That is simply unacceptable in Turkish culture. Imagine you are saying no to a brunch date and missing all those delicious food. That brunch you have occasionally, happens every morning in Turkish households and not just on Sundays. We treat breakfast as the most important meal of the day because how you start a day determines the rest of it.
Although Turkish Breakfast is more of a spread, there are some core elements that needs to be present even when you’re in a rush in the morning and need to have a fast bite. Bear in mind that we do work on weekdays and can’t have big breakfasts too sometimes but that is no excuse. Turkish breakfast might be popular for all the delicacies it includes but the most important element of it is to have that breakfast with your loved ones surrounding the table and have a heart-to-heart conversation with them.
Some of the essential elements of Turkish breakfast are:
Note that this not the complete list as we wouldn’t fit all the elements that make Turkish breakfast so special into just one blog.
Due to its shape, occasionally it can be attributed as the Turkish bagel but simit is quite different from your usual bagel and to understand the difference you need to try one in its hometown. Can be found in almost every corner, simit is the hero to save our mornings when you’re running late. Just grab a simit alongside a piece of cheese and a hard-boiled egg from your simit vendor and when you reach your destination get a cup of tea and you’re good to go. Don’t mind me calling it simit though because the name of it is quite a controversy in Izmir as we call it gevrek and even the street vendors are called “gevrekçi”. It is not just the name too, the preparation of them has some difference as well. Gevrek is crispier than simit. If you come to Turkey visit Izmir and Istanbul to see for yourself. We will dive into this subject in another blog no worries.
Cheese & Olive
Cheese and olive do have utmost importance too, don’t just think them as side snacks of the Turkish breakfast. Turkey has hundreds of different cheeses to choose from and the same goes to olives as well. In our farmers market which we call “pazar” there are many vendors bringing cheeses and olives from different parts of Turkey and let you taste it before you find the one fit for your palate. Soft or the ones with a sharp taste Turkey’s cheeses are as diverse as the ones in France. As for the olive, just our Aegean region is strong enough to challenge anyone in this category.
Whether it’s consumed as omelet, hard-boiled, sunny side up or scrambled egg, there is a special place for egg to gain some proteins in the morning. We have a much delicious recipe on egg called “menemen” which is another controversy but that is a subject for another blog. As I mentioned in simit part, egg is so important that even you can get one from simit/gevrek vendors right around the corner. To get that feeling of fullness a hard-boiled egg is needed in the morning to keep you in tip-top shape until lunch.
Having some spreads over a piece of bread is nice, but nothing can top a mother’s homemade strawberry jam. Grandmother and mothers are the experts of jams in Turkey and anyone who wants a sweet bite at the end of their Turkish breakfast mostly try to find a homemade jar in farmer’s market. Generally anything salty is consumed throughout the breakfast but at the very end right before finishing anything sweet, mostly our delicious jams, are consumed to leave the table with that sweet flavor on your tongue. Additionally, we have jams in any flavor you can think of. I personally tasted a carrot jam recently.
Here is the one and only drink to be consumed during traditional Turkish breakfast. Black tea is the one since it is the suits best with anything we eat during breakfast and black tea is produced on Black Sea region. Turkey is the number one tea consumer in the world. We do have our famous Turkish coffee mind you, but it’s consumed after breakfast not during and even coffee cannot go beyond our love for tea in breakfast. Kids are exempt from this rule though they too start at young ages to enjoy tea as well. So, there is no problem with tea consumption during breakfast.
What a blog this has been, you see the importance of Turkish breakfast? I haven’t even mentioned the elements we consume at the breakfast we have with our loved ones. All this breakfast talk must have made you hungry for something Turkish, huh? In the meantime, the best thing to do is to enjoy a box of Turkish Munchies if you ask me! So go and grab yourself one from the links just down below: