Tuesday, June 03, 2008

The Zen of Turkish Breakfasts

On the patio of Kilise Alti, Sirince

One of the many cool things about traveling in Turkey is that breakfast is included in almost all but the cheapest and (strangely) most expensive of lodging. And breakfast in Turkey is a cultural experience all of its own.

The food at breakfast, not surprisingly, has a very Mediterranean influence and we found fairly consistent offerings at all the different places we stayed. There was usually some combination of green and black olives, olive oil, fruit jams and compotes, a variety of cheeses, tomatoes, cucumbers, nuts, dried fruits, and an egg of some sort (hard/soft boiled, fried, etc.). These were served with bread, not the pita or flatbread that we had been expecting to find. There was also the ubiquitous tea, cay (pronouced 'chai'), in the distinctive tulip-shaped glasses that we grew to really love.

While some hotels and pensions just had buffets where you could go up and help yourself (and we noticed that those tended to have a few more ‘familiar’ or ‘western’ options) more than half of the places we stayed provided individual ‘spreads’ in lovely dishes.

Breakfast at the Agora Pension, Herakleia/Kapikiri

In the two smallest villages we stayed in the food was all totally fresh and most of it came from in town. It was beyond delicious.

Fresh, homemade breakfast at Kilise Alti, Sirince

Even when the food was much more processed and packaged (such as what we found when we were the first guests of the season at our hotel in a small Mediterranean town), it still was beautifully presented and satisfying to eat.

Breakfast at Beyaz Guvercin, Selimiye

It was a wonderful way to start the day and really got you into the mood of a place in touch with its land and enjoying its bounty. I'm looking forward to making more meals like this for our own breakfasts or brunches.



Anonymous said...

Wow - everything looks absolutely delicious!!!

(And you look fabulous with your cute, short hair!) :)

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