This post is an apology to, and an ode to, a very famous Turkish food…
It was June 2010 that we wrote a blog post about the traditional Turkish simit and, if you remember, we declared that we just couldn’t get with the love of simit. In fact, the final sentence in that post expressed hope that one day, we would learn to love this circular, sesame-seed-covered chunk of bread but that we may be some time in getting to that point.
We were quite surprised by the response we got to that post; people were getting in touch with us from different parts of Turkey via our Facebook page and Twitter and were explaining to us that if we didn’t like simit then quite simply, we’d never had a decent one. There was a definite passion for the simit and the main suggestions were that we must buy them from the bakery in the mornings and eat them for breakfast. If they’re still warm, even better. Cream cheese was the most popular suggestion for a filling.
But, at the time, we had a problem in that we didn’t have a local bakery that baked simits and so we just continued happily with our simitless existence. However, we are pleased to announce that all that has changed and we were so excited a few months back when our local bakery placed a board outside advertising their taze simit (fresh simit). We asked them the best time to come to buy them – we wanted to buy them while they were still warm and morning fresh – and the day after, we took the simit challenge…and we were immediately converted. The perfect, simple alternative when the complete Turkish breakfast isn’t on the agenda.
This morning, a break in the clouds revealed enough warm sunshine to be able to eat a late breakfast outside on the terrace, so simit seemed to be the perfect choice. After buying them from the bakery, each sesame ring was cut into quarters and then each quarter was sliced along the middle. Green olives, labne (a cream cheese made by straining yoghurt) and raspberry jam were placed on the table along with the chunks of simit.
Some people just spread cheese along their simit. This is perfectly good, especially when paired with an olive or two. Other people will take the sweet route and spread a little bit of jam, honey or chocolate spread over the top of each slice. And then there are people like us who just can’t decide between labne or jam…so they use both! This is a delicious simit topping!