All happiness depends on a leisurely breakfast – John Gunther

I cannot agree more with Gunther. What about you?

I think that the traditional Turkish breakfast is one of the best ways to start the day. The Turkish word for breakfast, “kahvaltı“, which is derived from “kahve altı” which literally means “before coffee”. While I don’t need any coffee to wake up in the morning, I have to eat some breakfast otherwise I’d be grumpy!

My ideal Turkish breakfast would feature:

  • Fresh cherry tomatoes and cucumber coupled with olives
  • Homemade marmalade, mulberry jam plus tahin-pekmez, a mix of of tahini and grape molasses that reminds me of peanut butter and jelly, only that this is much better
  • Honeycomb
  • Muhammara, a dip made with roasted red peppers, walnuts and olive oil
  • Warm simit, a traditional Turkish bread ring covered in sesame seeds
  • Small plate of Turkish cheese including beyaz peyniri (salty white cheese similar to feta cheese), dil peyniri (stringy fresh cow’s milk cheese) and spiced cheese with oregano/thyme/red pepper flakes
  • Grilled halloumi
  • Menemen, Turkish scrambled eggs cooked with tomatoes, onions and green chillies
  • Pomegranate juice with lime and diluted with cold sparkling water
  • Turkish tea while waiting for the food to be served

To make it even better, it’d be a sunny morning with a cool gentle breeze as I enjoy this feast on a bench in a garden while reading the day’s newspaper. Pure happiness.

I love the use of fresh ingredients and the mix of sweet and savoury flavours. What a treat it is to start the day with a sumptuous spread like this, plus it is easy to prepare.

In my next post, I shall share some of my favourite breakfast spots in Istanbul. So, more to come…

9 replies on “Turkish breakfast = Happiness

    1. Yup, some people have coffee in the morning, but only after they have had their breakfast – which is why the Turkish name of the first meal of the day (“kahve altı”) literally means “after coffee”. The locals drink tea for the most part of the day.

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