Adam, the Saint of Bakers, learned how to make a bread from the angel Gabriel. This secret is definitely known by the Turks. It’s not possible to find a bread that tastes like every day fresh Turkish bread or simit. It’s loved by all.
Finding a Turk who doesn’t like Turkish bread is unthinkable. It doesn’t matter if they’re rich or poor, each Turk would break bread while they are on the way to home from the bakery. Ekmek, simit and pide should be eaten the same day that they are baked, and this is not hard because Turkish bakes bake fresh bread every morning. Ekmek is so divine that ekmek cannot be thrown away. Leftover ekmek becomes meal for birds or for cats and dogs after mixing it with milk.
Börek is a family of baked or fried pastries made of a thin flaky dough known as yufka.
It can be filled with cheese, often feta, sirene or kashar cheese; minced meat or vegetables like potato or spinach. Homemade Börek is a dish for special occasions and requires great skill and patience. Su Böreği (Turkish cheese lasagne), Sigara Böreği (Turkish cigar shaped pastry), Paçanga Böreği (fried pastry with pastrami and kashar) and Siron (baked pastry rolls with yogurt) are the most famous böreks.
Mantı, small dumplings of dough filled with a special meat mix, are eaten with generous serving of garlic yogurt and dash of melted butter and paprika.
Along with bread, pilaf is another staple of the Turkish kitchen. Depending on the local cuisine, it can contain meat or vegetables. It’s a dish in which rice is cooked in a seasoned broth. Pilaf may be a main course or accompanied by another dish.
Photo Credits: DL Duncan