Monday, January 10, 2011

Breakfast, Turkish Style

In Turkish, kahvaltı (kahvaltuh) literally means "under the coffee", but it usually translates to "breakfast". A typical menu includes, but is not limited to olives, feta cheese, bread and soft-boiled eggs. As far as I know, kahvaltı always includes hot tea. (I guess this is what you're supposed to eat before you get to the coffee? It's a good idea, since the Turkish coffee is quite strong.) Sometimes we have kahvaltı for a quick dinner. Then I add things like menemen or a potato fritata, some smoked salmon or whatever else tickles my fancy.

A little anecdote:

I got off the plane in Adana in early August, which is the height of hazy, hot and humid season. I'm not talking uncomfortable, it's almost unbearable. And our condo didn't have air conditioning. Hot tea? Not the first thing on my most wanted list. Olives? For breakfast???

Yeah... hot tea AND olives. That's better!

Lucky for me, my mother-in-law had a giant jar of homemade apricot jam and Turkish bread is delicious. I survived on that for about a month before I started to branch out into some cheeses and a few select other things on the table. The hot tea was unavoidable though. (Boxed UHT milk is not yummy.) Fast forward a few months and I was eating some of everything, even the olives.

You might think it's a pain to set out all different sorts of cheeses, olives, etc. every morning, but it isn't. The Turkish have an easy solution. A divided dish that you load up with goodies and cover to refrigerate!

Kahvaltı is reserved for weekends now though. No time to sit around eating the stuff!

Related Articles:

Kahvaltı, Turkish Breakfast

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Avo said...

Sounds tasty! : j

Reminds me of the story of my french mother meeting her traditionalist Japanese in-laws for the first time. After a long flight she wound up landing in Japan exhausted late at night and fell fast asleep. In that household, everyone would get up at seven for breakfast. And my mom, wanting to make a good impression, got up at seven (she was a never a morning person). Imagine her surprise as a person for whom breakfast had always been a bowl of milky coffee and a slice of buttered baguette when for breakfast she got natto, rice+raw egg, miso soup, pickles, and a pork chop... Culture clash.
The funny/sad thing is that I'm sure the pork chop had been prepared as a treat. : j

Sounds like your in-laws were more accommodating. : j

Creepy Query Girl said...

Yes! I remember this from when I stayed with the turkish family. They always had quite a spread! THe French have a 'bowl' of coffee or hot chocolate in the morning with their toast or tartines or croissants or pains au chocolates. It threw me for a loop at first when his mom asked me if I wanted a bowl of choclate for breakfast. But now when my kids sit down for breakfast I find myself pouring out hot chocolat into their bowls. It's kind of like their coffee...:)

LTM said...

I have to confess, even in the middle of our hot, humid, hazy summers, I MUST have my hot coffee. :D Never developed the taste for tea. Or olives, I'm afraid. Although I can eat black olives in dishes. And green occasionally. :D

Hey, it's breakfast time now~

Ayak said...

Apart from boiling the eggs, or making menemen (as I often do) the rest of the gathering of ingredients for breakfast is quite easy. We never have a set time for's whenever we feel like eating. We have been known to eat it at around 3am after a late night working..with bread straight from the all-night bakery. Delicious!

Old Kitty said...

Oh wow!! Now that's what I call a hearty and healthy and happy breakfast!!

I love your anecdote - you poor thing!! But then apricot jam and bread sounds yummy too!!!

How's the tea like? Is there a special Turkish tea blend?

Take care

OJ Gonzalez-Cazares said...

hi there, happy new year!! when I was in Turkey I learned to love cheese, olives, tomato and cucumber with hot tea for breakfast... simit and cream cheese completed the effect! it took me a while though, I was looking for the cereal and bacon! lol - thanks for the lovely reminder!!

Christopher said...

Stop making me hungry!

Unknown said...

I could eat that breakfast every morning. I love the spread there. So much culture.

Golden Eagle said...

That sounds like a great breakfast!

Southpaw said...

I could totally eat that for breakfast - love feta, olives, eggs, and tea too! Here is my question though, do you put the cheese on the eggs of eat is separately?

Lydia Kang said...

I would love to eat that for breakfast! It sounds so good to me, since I'm a very salt-avid person at breakfast time.


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