Discover Turkey and try Turkish breakfast
Handmade pastries, breads, cheeses, olives, jams, spreads, eggs and breakfast meats. The simplest meal of the day, Turkish breakfast is a dining table laden with a feast of colours and unique uncomplicated flavours. It is the perfect start to the day.
Turks take breakfast seriously and it is never missed. The typical breakfast is not a single item but a spread of dishes, and while its ingredients may vary from one region to another, the basics such as cheese, breads and olives are always the same. The first meal of the day can be found in cafes, bakeries, pastry shops and most restaurants but an even better option would be cafes that are dedicated to serving breakfast. The breakfast platter, a spread of cheese, tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, butter, jam or honey and eggs, usually accompanied by freshly brewed tea, is the perfect start to the day.
Breakfast is not complete without baked goods. Bakeries cook up favourites such as pogaca, a soft breakfast roll, and simit, a ringshaped bagel topped with sesame.
Another classic is borek, a pastry made with layers of phyllo, and stuffed with cheese, meat or vegetables.
Then there are the breads. Turkish flatbread is a favourite breakfast companion. It is cooked on a griddle, made from phyllo and filled with cheese, meat or vegetables. Village bread is made with sourdough and is popular because it stays fresh for a long time.
The consumption of cheese begins at breakfast and continues throughout the day. It finds its way into pastries, salads and desserts as well as being served on its own as a snack. Fresh white cheese, kasar and tulum are the most common, and are found in many flavours.
Olives are an essential ingredient of Turkish cuisine, and there are over 50 types in our country. The west of Turkey is known for its excellent black olives, while the southeast is famous for its green olives. The small, plump fruits are served on their own with olive oil, lemon and sometimes oregano, or as a spread.
When it comes to sweeter flavours, try delicious of grape molasses and tahini (sesame paste). And the Turkish version of clotted cream, is a heavenly treat that is best served with honey. The choices are many for jams and preserves, too. In addition to classics such as strawberry, cherry, apricot and grape, every region has its own special variety, like in the Mediterranean and the Aegean where orange, lemon, tangerine and bergamot are popular. When travelling around the country, keep an eye out for more unusual ingredients such as eggplant, fig, pine cones and tomatoes.
In Turkey, eggs are served either hard boiled, scrambled, sunny-side up or as an omelette. A classic is menemen, a mixture of scrambled eggs, tomatoes, green peppers and onions. When it comes to breakfast meats, sucuk, a dried, spicy beef sausage, and pastirma, layers of cured beef covered with a thick layer of spices, pair well with a serving of eggs.
For the most authentic experience, as you polish off the feast of pastries, cheese, olives and spreads, be sure to save just enough space for a Turkish coffee.