Turkey is a country with a rich multicultural heritage and food cult. There are so many worths to try dishes but I’d like to tell you about the national treasure of Turkey – Simit Bagel.
History of Turkish Simit
The interesting fact is that the history of Turkish simit had begun in Russia. After the revolution in the Russian Empire (In the early 20th century) the immigrants from Russia had opened the same bagel shop as they had in Odessa. And first simits was exactly traditional Russian bagels that is a sweet dough sprinkled with poppy seeds. But later on, the poppy seeds were switched with sesame seeds, and it wasn’t sprinkled it was dipped in seeds for more aroma and pleasant crunch.
In a short time, simit became extremely popular. The secret of simit is not only in its taste but also that it is a quite cheap and easy snack. They are good with tea and coffee, equally loved by children and adults, workers and businessmen. So very soon one shop was not enough anymore, moreover, the “wave” of simit has spread all over Istanbul by bagel sellers – Simitci.
Simitci in Turkey
Nowadays you still can buy your simit from Simitci. They wandering around with a tray full of bagels on their heads.
Also, fresh, hot bagels are sold from the special, glass-covered carts.
It is safe to buy bagels from street vendors. It is always fresh because they are sold out quickly. And all the food in Turkey is being carefully monitored and controlled by the government.
Each city in Turkey claims that they have the best simit you can ever find. Very well known Istanbul and Ankara style. Ankara simit is more crunchy and less thick. In Cappadocia, simit is thick, in Kas, it is thick and big, about 35 cm in diameter. And so on.
The process of baking simits is fascinating. Twisted and the twirled dough is dipped into grape molasses then into sesame seeds and baked until golden brown. It has a super crunchy crust and it is super soft and airy inside.
Making Turkish Simit
I found a video about how simit is actually done. Those ones are Cappadocia stile simits – the thick ones. Don’t watch with a hungry stomach!
It is not surprising that with such popularity people start to experiment with the preparation and methods of serving simits. Every region and every district of Turkey has simit-café. Simits are served like American bagels: with various fillings like cheese, sausage, cottage cheese, and olives, etc. And always in the accompaniment of fragrant Turkish tea.
In Belek a really good simit you can buy: in Migros, in a general Belek bakery, in Belek Simit Caffe, and in Zirve pastry shop.
Every Turkish person will tell you: “There will be no good day without a good simit”.
Try it and tell me if you agree?! 🙂
Your insider, Alex.
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