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What is a simit? Turkish Cuisine for Beginners

Wondering what a simit is? It's time to explore the history and main types of this popular Turkish snack.

The history of making simit goes back to the Ottoman period, when Turkish simits took the place of honor at the tables of rulers. The sultans regarded a ring-shaped bread cake sprinkled with sesame as a valuable and luxurious food item. Bagels also served as a token of recognition to the sultans and were presented to the palace guards as gifts. It is an indispensable part of Ramadan tables. Thanks to its simple composition and method of preparation, simit quickly gained popularity among all social strata and reached the tables of peasants and craftsmen. Today, almost all Turks eat #simit regardless of their social status and culinary taste. In addition, Turkish bagels have become a kind of symbol and an important element of Turkish culture.

Simit is nothing but a Turkish bagel generously sprinkled with sesame seeds. The name of the snack comes from the Turkish word "simithane", which means the composition of flour.

Bagels are a #Turkish staple and can be found at almost any bakery or street vendor, offering exciting ways to serve pretzels using a large lifting tray. With the convenience of eating, you can enjoy snacks both at home and while traveling. Most of the time, Turkish bagel consumption is accompanied by Turkish tea, or alternatively, Turkish coffee. Despite its great popularity and various ways of serving, the bagel has retained its original taste and shape.

Simit's popularity exploded in Turkey in the 1990s when it was constantly seen on the street. There are currently bakery chains that offer a variety of bagels. You can try different versions of popular snacks such as cheese and tomatoes at these places.

Regardless of the additions, there are three main types of simit that is not spelled out in Turkey: Taş simit (baked like bread), pan bagel (baked in a pan), and cauldron bagel (traditionally sprinkled with sesame seeds). The second version of simit, divided into smaller portions, is very often served in Turkish hotels.

Bagels, tea and the ferry are important elements of the Istanbul landscape. Istanbul is where passenger ferries cross the Bosphorus, and bagels are an indispensable element of these fascinating journeys from Asia to Europe. On this ferry, there is at least one bagel shop and passengers who enjoy the taste of simit and the aroma of tea are never missing. However, Turkish bagels are often bought by the Turks to feed the seagulls soaring on the deck of the steamers. All you have to do is raise the simit into the air to attract the white flock of birds that love this flavor as much as the Turks.

Making homemade bagels is very easy. It is baked in the oven like any other bread. You can easily buy molasses from supermarkets or world cuisine stores. This gives the bagels a certain dark color. You can trade honey for stubborn molasses, but it is molasses that will have the most satisfying final effect. Before cooking the simit, it is sprinkled with sesame seeds. You can also find poppy versions, but the sesame bagel is the most popular.

In Turkey, Simit is usually eaten for breakfast with typical additions to this cuisine, namely fresh vegetables (cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes), olives, cheese, olive oil and, in the dessert version, honey, jam or jams.

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