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Simit: The Turkish Breakfast Staple

simit

The star of Turkish street food, simit is widely sold on the street and at pastry shops all over the region. If you’ve ever been to Turkey, you might have tasted simit bread, but if you haven’t, then let me entice you to try it by telling you how tasty this traditional bread is.

What is Simit?

Simit is a circular-shaped bread, coated with sesame seeds or, rarely, sunflower seeds that roughly resembles a bagel. It is regarded as a breakfast staple in Istanbul and other parts of Turkey and is commonly known as Turkish bagels around the United States. Different regions around the world have different names for this ring bread, for instance, simit is known as koulouri in Greece, bokehg in Armenia, and gevrek In Izmir.

According to archival sources, simit has been produced in Istanbul since 1525 and is reminiscent of the traditional foods from the era of the Ottoman Empire. 

Image Credit: xxoktayxx from Pixabay 

It’s usually served for breakfast and complemented with tea. Because they traditionally served it plain, simit makes a sumptuous compliment for tea and is very fitting for a light breakfast.

What Does Simit Taste Like?

Don’t be deceived by how simit looks. It may look like a donut or bagel, but it tastes differently. It is crisp on the outside, soft and chewy on the inside, coupled with a nutty taste coming from the topping of roasted sesame seeds. Interestingly, simit contains a special ingredient that gives it a palatable brown color, a unique sweet flavor, and a crisp exterior: grape molasses. If you plan to make simits at home, we highly recommend using this ingredient.

Image Credit: Muzaffer Dölek from Pixabay 

What To Pair with Simit?

Besides Turkish tea, some popular pairings for simit are eggs, feta cheese, jams, spreads, and a glass of chilled Aryan (yogurt milk). Simit sandwiches are another great way to incorporate simit bread into your breakfast routine and are traditionally made by tucking sliced tomatoes, cucumbers, fresh cheese, and deli meats of your choice. You can make these Easy Egg Sandwiches, and Sausage Breakfast Sandwiches by swapping muffins for simit. Or perhaps you can turn any of your leftover simits into a savory breakfast casserole.

Image Credit: Ceyhun Orhon from Pixabay 

In other regions of the Middle East, simit is paired with yogurt, buttermilk, or milkshakes at the start of the day, and even in the afternoon or tea time. Interestingly, simit is also regarded as the bread of lower or middle-class people in the Middle-eastern region; it’s taken as an easily accessible and cost-effective food snack that’s available any time of the day and can be served with any meal.

Image Credit: berladelphia from Pixabay 

Feature Image: Engin Akyurt from Pixabay 

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