• Turkish Breakfast

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    January 19th, 2011adminFood, Istanbul

    My first real Turkish breakfast overlooked the Black Sea. It was June and I was still totally disoriented in Istanbul. But that first real breakfast, with Osman, marked the beginning of my Istanbul experience. Since then, I’ve always loved Turkish breakfasts …the layers of oregano, pepper and mint, the cheeses and the honey and the sheer leisure it inspires… Here are some photos from a really nice (note: this is not average for me or most people!) Turkish breakfast. These photos were taken in November, right before I left for Greece.

    You can see the olives and eggs (the “menemen” dish, made of egg, onion, tomato, green pepper and spices). There’s also the meat (“sucuk,” a spiced Turkish sausage)  and various cheeses (especially “beyaz peynir,” or white cheese and “kaşar peyniri,” a soft, unpasteurized goat’s milk cheese that’s popular in Turkey and Greece). This breakfast also included dolmas, which are not always in the Turkish breakfast. But my breakfast companion, Cevdet, is a dolma addict. It’s rare that we go to a restaurant without a dolma order.

    That flat, circular thing is lahmacun — dough with minced meat — originally from Syrian cuisine of the Levant. And there’s also the ubiquitous Turkish tea (or “çay,” pronounced as “chai”), a black tea that people drink all day. You can also see the vegetables — tomatoes, cucumber — a common element in Middle Eastern breakfasts.

    Next to the lahmacun, you can see the pide (the long thing), which is “pita” in Turkish. Usually, people get cheap, greasy pide on the street with egg and/or cheese inside. When I was in a hurry, I used to grab them a lot. But they grew old quickly. Now, I just like the fancy ones, like this particularly beautiful pide!

    This is me being incredibly happy.

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