I love Turkish breakfast (kahvaltı). I’ve said it before, but breakfast is a personal thing. I’ll eat the fear factor foods – ooh bugs! Fish eyeballs! Raw horse or raw chicken! – because I want to be fair and try things, but first thing in the morning I am not very interested in the unfamiliar. Turkish breakfast, on the other hand, is Kevin-friendly, and if it’s an open buffet (açık büfe kahvaltı) at a guesthouse, they might have to drag me out or I’ll sit there all day and graze.
What Turkish breakfast typically consists of:
Honey and/or rose hip marmalade
Assorted cheeses (win!)
Fresh tomato and cucumber
An egg in some form, often hardboiled but sometimes a dish such as menemen
Endless Turkish tea
Then some regions might add or subtract a few of these things, throwing in some dried fruits, maybe yogurt or drinkable yogurt (ayran), sausage (think non-pork hot dog fried a bit and splayed at the ends). In Urfa, they did a bit of adding. We sorted out a good place for kahvaltı in Urfa: Zahter Kahvaltı Salonu, just a few steps from the front door of our hotel. We didn’t know what to order when we got there and stood at the counter, preparing to just put it all together a la carte, but then the manager led us to a table and suggested kahvaltı. We looked around and saw other tables covered with the collection of little dishes and were sold.
Beyond the norm we got a sort of menemen in a copper pan with slices of semi-spicy sausage (sucuk).
A regional breakfast pastry specialty: katmer, made with ground pistachios, sprinkled sugar and kaymak (heavy cream) between sheets of phyllo dough. Ridiculously good.
Börek, a multi-layered phyllo dough creation in a large pan cut into squares. In between the layers are bits of parsley and a crumbly white cheese similar to feta.
Needless to say, we gorged ourselves. Afterward, we were invited to the pedestrian walkway out the back door where they served us tea.
Photo by Preamtip Satasuk
Our breakfast turned out to be 15 TL (about $7 USD per person). The next day we went to another breakfast place nearby and it was only 10 TL. We wondered if there really could be such a great difference in the breakfast as it all seemed to be the same simply prepared foods. The answer is YES. The drop in quality was notable, though it was still decent. Don’t argue; lay down that extra 5 at Zahter Kahvaltı Salonu.
Enjoy more posts from Southeastern Turkey! Click here for the Gaziantep trip.
For more articles and photo galleries about Turkey and Turkish culture, see The Mad Traveler home site.