How much does a Simit cost in Istanbul

Çay and Simit in Istanbul

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Çay and Simit are two integral parts of Turkish culture. And if you stroll through Istanbul, you will have the opportunity to treat yourself to a glass of tea and a sesame ring at every corner.

Whether for breakfast, at work, after a meal, while strolling through Istanbul's streets or just like that, in between: A glass of Turkish tea and a delicious sesame ring is always good. And if you want that real Istanbul feeling, you should follow this tradition and enjoy Çay and Simit.

But what is really special about it?

Çay - the Turkish tea

Turkish tea is Rize tea. Rize tea is a black tea that is grown on the Black Sea coast in northeast Turkey. The name of the tea comes from the province of the same name, which is the main growing area for this type of tea. The Çay is Turkey's national drink and when it comes to the per capita consumption of tea, Turkey regularly occupies a top position in the world.

In fact, more tea is consumed in Turkey than in the United Kingdom. And the tea production is also impressive. Turkey is one of the largest tea producers in the world. But in the end the numbers only play a minor role. It is much more important that the enjoyment of Çay is a piece of lived culture and hospitality.

Turkish tea is part of the culture

Today's Turkey has a long history of coffee consumption. The Ottomans drank a lot of coffee, which they had imported from Yemen, and loved it. But after the fall of the Ottoman Empire and the associated loss of coffee-growing areas in Yemen, coffee became an expensive import item. At times, for example after the end of the First World War, coffee was not available at all. In contrast, tea from the domestic growing areas was available.

In the beginning, the popular Çayaber was seen more as a coffee substitute. Not least on the initiative of Ataturk, who campaigned for Turkish tea, tea consumption then gradually increased. Today Çayaus has become indispensable in Turkish culture. The hot beverage is consumed at home, in shops and in teahouses, which are traditional meeting places. In addition, Turkish tea is an expression of hospitality, because it is simply good form to offer your guest a glass of tea.

The preparation of Çay

Special cookware is used to prepare the Turkish tea. This is called Çaydanlik, which means teapot translated into German, and consists of two kettles arranged on top of each other. The lower kettle is slightly larger, has no lid and stands directly on the stove or the fireplace. It is filled with water, which is first brought to a boil and then kept warm in the kettle.

There is a slightly smaller kettle on it. This is where the tea leaves are located, which unfold their aroma through the warmth from below. When the water in the lower kettle boils, some of it is poured into the upper kettle. This creates a very strong, concentrated tea. After a short steeping time, the Çay is ready to serve. To do this, some tea concentrate is poured into the tea glass and topped up with the hot water from the lower kettle. Depending on your personal taste, the tea can be prepared as a strong tea - demli çay - or as a mild, thin tea - açık çay.

The tea is traditionally sweetened with beet sugar cubes. And if you want, you can also put a piece of lemon in the glass. Turkish tea, on the other hand, is not drunk with milk or cream. The tea is served in small, tulip-shaped glasses. These are held at the top, because the Çay is served very hot.

Simit - the Turkish sesame ring

The simit is a ring-shaped yeast pastry with a golden brown crust sprinkled with sesame seeds. Crisp on the outside and soft on the inside, the Simit is similar to the pretzel. The Simit was invented around 500 years ago in the Ottoman Empire and from here it spread across the entire Balkans. While the Istanbulers call their sesame rings Simit, in the region around Izmir it is also called Gevrek, which translates as crispy.

Simit on the streets of Istanbul

Anyone strolling through Istanbul will find sesame rings in many places. Because it is not only part of the standard range of bakeries, but is also sold at mobile street stalls. And the Simit is one of the most popular snacks in Istanbul. It is eaten for breakfast as well as a snack with a glass of tea, on the way to work or during a crossing on the Bosporus.

Traditionally, the simit is served with sheep cheese, olives and Çay. For breakfast it is also enjoyed with jelly or jam. But also pure, as a small snack in between, the Simit with its crispy crust and the soft interior is really delicious. In addition, the popular pastry is now available in many variations, for example in the form of a filled bag or a filled bagel.

A recipe for Simit

If you don't want to wait until your next trip to Istanbul or want to bring some Istanbul flair back home, you can work as a Simit baker yourself. For self-made simit

  • 1 tea glass each of water, milk and oil,
  • 1 cube of fresh yeast or a sachet of dry yeast,
  • 1 heaped teaspoon of salt,
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar,
  • About 500 grams of flour,
  • · 1 egg white and
  • · Sesame

needed. If you don't have a Turkish, tulip-shaped tea glass at hand, you can of course also measure the amount of liquid. A tea glass corresponds to the amount of 100 milliliters.

First, water, milk and oil are put in a bowl. The yeast is dissolved in it. Then add salt, sugar and flour. Then the whole thing is kneaded into a smooth dough. Cover the dough and let it rest for at least half an hour.

If the dough has rested, it is kneaded again. Then the dough is divided into small portions. The individual dough portions are first turned into balls, then rolled into sausages and finally shaped into rings.

The oven can now be switched on and preheated to 180 degrees Celsius. While the oven is preheating, the sesame seeds are placed in a deep plate. In a second plate, stir the egg white with a little water until frothy. Then the dough rings are first dipped in the egg white and then breaded with the sesame seeds. The finished sesame rings are placed on a baking sheet with baking paper and baked for about 20 minutes. The simit are ready when they are golden brown and nice and crispy. Good Appetite!

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Subject: Çay and Simit in Istanbul

Owner at Artdefects Media Verlag
Emine Gülcan, 46 years old, real estate agent in Istanbul and Marmaris, Ali Tiyekli, 48 years old, real estate agent, Malek Sahouri, 35 years old, travel blogger, Mehmet Keskin, 42 years old, legal advisor and Christian Gülcan, operator and editor of this website, write interesting facts about the Buying real estate in Istanbul or Turkey gives a lot of tips and travel information for the region.

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Emine Gülcan, 46 years old, real estate agent in Istanbul and Marmaris, Ali Tiyekli, 48 years old, real estate agent, Malek Sahouri, 35 years old, travel blogger, Mehmet Keskin, 42 years old, legal advisor and Christian Gülcan, operator and editor of this website, write interesting facts about the Buying real estate in Istanbul or Turkey gives a lot of tips and travel information for the region. Show all contributions by editors

Posted on Author EditorsCategories Istanbul Blog