There is simply nothing better than to walk around Beşiktaş (my new neighborhood!) and randomly choose amongst the many kahvaltı salonları -breakfast rooms- at literally any time of the day. I have seen those places crowded at 7 pm, and more than once I’ve gone from breakfast to getting ready to go out (a year on exchange can do that do you).
The Turkish Breakfast usually starts with a good old cup of Turkish çay (tea) followed by fresh white bread and what I can only describe as heaven-in-your-mouth: bal kaymak.
Bal Kaymak (Honey Kaymak) is just about the best thing I’ve ever had in my life. It’s perfection with honey. It’s the best bread spread in history and I’m not exaggerating at all. A friend recently tried it and felt the urge to send me an email that said nothing else but this:
“I had kaymak with honey last night. I am weeping. For years, days, seconds lost without my true love.”
Yes. It is that good and even better.
After this perfect start the breakfast moves on to fresh tomatoes, cucumber and green peppers. Add to that a selection of cheeses, of which a stringy one is my favorite. Sometimes it will include a boiled egg and it will never miss green and black olives in olive oil with spices. Other additions vary depending on the place and can include home-made jam, butter, spicy tomato spread, yogurt and herbs spread and salami. Of course, all throughout there is non-stop çay and bread.
The trick is to eat enough but not too much,
as all this is followed by a delicious, right-out-of-the-kitchen menemen. Menemen is a type of scrambled eggs cooked with tomatoes, green pepper and sometimes cheese, served in the pan and just ready to burn your mouth as it is impossible to wait until it cools down to eat it.
To start my day (and sometimes night) I usually like to finish the two- (three-, four-, five-) hour breakfast with a cup of çay, a bread with Bal Kaymak, a good backgammon game and once in a while a Turkish coffee to have my fortune read by the cook.
So there you have it, the best of Turkey.