Turkish Food Focus: The Gevrekçi

When it came to feeding ourselves on a budget, Izmir was a happy and unexpected find. We were on a mission to explore as much of the city as possible, so food stops were fuel stops to keep us going until we needed to replenish dwindling energy levels again. Of course, the beauty of Turkey is there’s always some cheap, tasty street food on hand that doesn’t play second fiddle – it’s often the star of the show – to that which you’d get in a restaurant. Eating on a budget in Izmir was no sacrifice.

Welcome to offering number 4 in our 2013 Turkish Food Focus series. Aside from last week’s post about tepsi kebabı, this is also the third post about the foods we came across in Izmir. We had a comforting 1 TL lunch of nohutlu pilav after climbing the hill to the Velvet Castle, Kadifekale and we also realised that the good folks of Izmir have the gevrekçi as opposed to the simitçi and wondered why. We learned a lot from that post!

The Izmir Gevrekçi

Gevrekçi in Izmir - Gevrek Seller

You’ll see the Gevrekçi all over Izmir

So, as the gevrekçi was such a feature of a few days in Izmir, we’re once again returning to the street food wares he sells. Both simit and gevrek are available for passers by as well as açma. But there is also a running theme that didn’t escape our attention. The people of Izmir are also treated to this simple sandwich…

Izmir Sandwiches

Just another of Izmir’s cheap street foods

We never bought one of these because we were eating simit in our apartment in the mornings, but if you do go to Izmir, these 1 TL snacks are a feature all over the city centre and are presented in exactly the same, uniform way, from gevrekçi to gevrekçi.
The bread is the same type of bread that was used for our Çeşme Kumrusu; a dense, filling bread, topped in sesame seeds. This is sliced part way through the middle and filled with slices of tomato and a slice of Izmir tulum cheese (Izmir is famous for its quality tulum). It’s then topped with one of these feisty-looking green chillies which was a (pleasant) surprise as Aegean cuisine isn’t usually associated with spicy ingredients.
You’re exploring Izmir. You need food on the go. If you bought this, would you opt for the chilli or remove it? We know what we would do!

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  1. Sure wish you could send one of those gevrek’s to me in Alabama!!!

  2. I often wonder how the vendors make any money when the goods they sell are like 1-3 tl or so! Sometimes these peppers are deadly so I timidly try a bite on the end and see how it is. 🙂

  3. Our simits in Bodrum are 1.5 TL, which makes those Izmir 1TL cheese rolls amazing value. (why simits are 50% more expensive than a loaf of bread is a mystery
    to me)

  4. i would love to eat it with the pepper but i bet it would be too hot for me. the rest of my family would gobble them up with no problem at all.

  5. @ April Ozbilgin: You’ll have to try and make some of your own. 🙂

    @ Joy: I know. We found all the street foods in Izmir to be really cheap. We just dive straight on in there with our chillies. 🙂

  6. @ BacktoBodrum: Wow, can understand your frustration. How bizarre. That’s very expensive for a simit.

    @ Jaz: We’d definitely eat our gevrek with the chilli. 🙂

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