5 Turkish Breakfast Dishes to Try
Turkish cuisine might be well-known for its kebabs and mezes, however, there is an aspect of Turkish food culture that always catches the attention of food lovers: Turkish Breakfast.
The most common type of Turkish breakfast a visitor to Türkiye would eat is serpme kahvaltı, translating to “breakfast spread”, as the shared plates spread from each end of the table to be tasted leisurely.
On a typical Turkish breakfast table, you will find a range of cheeses, olives, jams, vegetables, bread, and small platters of cured meat, all anchored around a delicious egg dish resulting in what is truly a forenoon feast. While the contents of a Turkish breakfast may vary, each serpme kahvaltı is always a mouth-watering sight. Here are some of the most standout dishes to make sure you try in your next Turkish breakfast adventure.
While cured meats like sausage are a common appearance at many European breakfast tables, none are quite like the Turkish sucuk. Sucuk, or sujuk, which is made of beef and mixed with garlic and other spices in the fermenting process for a strong, well-seasoned flavour. Throw some sucuk in a pan with some butter and eggs cooked on low heat, and what you have is Turkish sucuklu yumurta, a savoury, protein-rich main breakfast platter.
If sucuklu yumurta is too heavy for an egg dish to base your Turkish breakfast table around, you might want to try menemen. Menemen is a traditional Turkish breakfast dish consisting of eggs, tomatoes, green peppers and various fragrant spices simmered in oil and served often in a copper pan to be shared with everyone at the table. Cured meat, but more often white cheese or kaşar cheese is added for a heartier dish. The result is a smoothly textured, rich tomato-flavoured purée that you can spread on your toasted bread or simit, Turkish bagels covered in roasted sesames.
Another egg dish commonly spotted at Turkish breakfast tables is çılbır. For çılbır, poached eggs are served on top of a bed of garlic yoghurt, often topped with pepper-infused butter. Çılbır was a favourite of Ottoman Sultans and its rich texture still makes it a popular plate at any Turkish breakfast.
While traditional bread is a given at any Turkish breakfast table, nowadays pişi is another star starch. Pişi is simply fried dough made with flour, yeast, milk, eggs, butter, salt, and sugar. It could simply be described as a savoury doughnut. Eaten together with a variety of cheeses, jams (reçel), or hazelnut chocolate spread serves you with the perfect combination of sweet and savoury flavours.
Another dish coupled primarily with bread, kuymak is a savoury mix of corn meal, butter, and melted cheese. Kuymak is a commonly consumed breakfast specialty in the Black Sea region of Türkiye. To make sure kuymak has been prepared properly, check if long strings of buttery cheese stretch off your fork. Among the most decadent of all Turkish breakfast spreads, kuymak is perhaps the perfect solution for an empty stomach.
As Turkish cuisine spreads across the globe, more and more people are becoming familiar with the appeal of the classic Turkish breakfast. Although it is known for its photogenic table spread of cheeses and fresh produce, Turkish breakfast also has an array of unique traditional dishes that you should not miss while in Türkiye.