Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Touring Turkey - A Look at Turkish Breakfast

I still believe that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so that's where I'll start with discussing Turkish food. At each of our hotels in Turkey, there were certain foods that seemed to pop up in each time: olives, feta-like cheese, tomato, cucumber, bread and various spreads whether it be butter, jam, or tahini. Here's a shot of one of my breakfast plates from the buffet at Hotel Sultania (review to come), which had many of the elements we would see at each of our breakfasts:

Clockwise from the top: olives (green and black), helva (more on this dish in another post), orgu peyniri cheese, grilled vegetables (the grilled veggies were pretty unusual even for the Turkish breakfasts we had), scrambled eggs (also a little unusual), beyaz peynir cheese. Also a roll. I was really hungry that morning.

I was in heaven. Lots of Cheese, lovely salty things like olives and old standbys like eggs. Yum! What I learned from breakfast is that Turkish food was like Turkey itself, a little European and a little Middle Eastern, but also something totally unique. The olives represent Turkey's Mediterranean western side (we would eventually go to Ephesus and see that area).

I was intrigued by some of the elements of my breakfast that were new to me:

Orgu Peyniri (braided cheese)

This cheese seems creamier and saltier than the string cheese of my childhood and much more flavorful. A good description of the cheese making process is here.

I'm not sure what kind of cheese this is, but it was good, too.

While I was at it (and since I was clearly HONGRY), I grabbed some dried fruit and nuts. At the top of this picture are hazelnuts and on the bottom are dried mulberries.

Hazeulnuts are one of the chief agricultural products of Turkey's northern Black Sea coast. Apparently, Turkey produces 600,000 tons of hazelnuts every year. Thank you to the Turkish people for making sure that we have ingredients for Nutella. :)

I have to admit that I am missing olives for breakfast, and I plan on adding them this week.

Is there anything here that you would add to your daily breakfast?


melinda said...

After taking an Arabic class, I'm more familiar with our local Middle Eastern markets - I'd love to start incorporating more elements into our meals to spice things up. These are great ideas for breakfast!

lavenderpug said...

nothing like a hearty (but not heavy) breakfast to get you going!

Layla said...

I could get on board with Turkish food!! This looks soooo good - I could eat olives all day, every day.

BigAppleNosh said...

Yum yum - love helva! Still trying to like olives :)

Diana said...

The cheese looks so creamy and tasty...I wouldn't mind adding that to my breakfast once in a while!


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