What is Turkish Breakfast?

Such a “delicious” concept as Turkish breakfast (Türk kahvaltısı) is probably familiar to everyone. Surprisingly, foreign tourists love it even more than the hosts of the morning table themselves. But tradition is tradition, and they try to observe it absolutely in every home.

For Turkish housewives, it is not at all unusual to combine sweet and salty things together in the morning meal, and even to spice it all up with spicy herbs and spices. At the same time, the neatness of the daily serving is striking: all the breakfast ingredients are placed in small, beautiful plates and as a result, a chic table is set with a huge number of gastronomic delights.

What is a Turkish breakfast

Every Turkish breakfast necessarily contains certain products: vegetables (cucumbers, tomatoes and green capsicum), chicken eggs, Turkish sausages, honey, kaymak and jam, butter, a variety of fruits. But this is only the basis — to it each hostess adds dishes to her preference: these can be various types of jam, tortillas and much more. As a result, after a hearty Turkish breakfast, according to all the rules, there is enough energy to devote the next half day to an active study of Istanbul and not even remember about food, at least until lunch.

The first meal after sunrise sounds like “kahvaltı” in Turkish. Translated into Russian, the phrase kahve altı means simply “before coffee”. The breakfast received a similar name during the reign of the Ottoman dynasty. Then, traditionally, in the morning, along with the dishes, a cup of fragrant coffee was placed in front of the sultan. In those days, coffee was just beginning to get its fame. This drink was not available to everyone.

Today, when no one will be surprised by Turkish coffee, it has peacefully migrated closer to dinner, and the usual tea has come in its place. It’s funny, but in the process of a Turkish breakfast, time seems to freeze. No one is in a hurry. Both locals and foreigners calmly sip hot tea, have casual conversations or read the latest press.

Here’s what you can try for breakfast in Istanbul

  • Peynir – Cheeses of different types
  • Beyaz peynir – white salty cheese
  • Kaşar peynir – cheddar cheese
  • Tulum peynir – crumbly goat cheese
  • Izgara hellim peyniri – grilled halloumi cheese
  • Siyah zeytin black olives
  • Yeşil zeytin green olives
  • Domates – tomatoes
  • Salatalık – cucumbers
  • Söğüş tabağı – plate with vegetables
  • Yeşil acı biber – hot green pepper
  • Yumurta – Eggs
  • Haşlanmış yumurta – Boiled eggs
  • Sahanda yumurta – Eggs in a frying pan
  • Menemen – A mixture of eggs with tomatoes and pepper, chopped and cooked in a frying pan
  • Mıhlama – Mıhlama or kuymak is a dish made of corn groats, butter and melted cheese
  • Kaymak ve bal – Thick cream with honey
  • Tereyağı – Oil
  • Pekmez – Fruit syrup, similar in consistency to liquid honey
  • Reçel – Jam
  • Kaymak – Fat cream that can be spread on bread and smeared with honey on top.
  • Börek – Borek
  • Ekmek – Freshly baked bread
  • Çay – Tea without restrictions

When coming to Turkey try a real Turkish breakfast.

You can read this article in Russian language: Какой он турецкий завтрак?

Maria Rybakova

Hi, I'm Maria. I am a writer for Expat Guide Turkey and I strive to create the best content for you. To contact me, you can send an e-mail to Happy reading!

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