Turkish breakfast is not just a meal, it is an experience. The Turkish breakfast was conceived as a convivial, shared and enjoyed Turkish breakfast and consists of many small sweet and savory plates, accompanied by bread and endless cups of tea. Usually a Turkish breakfast includes eggs, either fried or with tomatoes (sahanda yumurta or menemen). Cucumbers and tomatoes are just as much a part of breakfast as olives, a plate of local cheese, honey, and kayak, a dairy product that resembles curdled cream. Often there is also jam, butter, a red pepper paste called Acılı Ezme, sausages and Börek, a puff pastry that can be filled with cheese, spinach or meat.
Serpme kahvaltı is a very traditional way of enjoying breakfast for long hours. The Turks go out on the weekend to have breakfast on the Bosphorus with breathtaking views, of the countryside, in popular cafes and restaurants etc. The concept of serpme kahvaltı consists of small plates with different products and flavors such as a cheese platter, a tomato and cucumber platter, herbs, jams, tahini and grape molasses, butter, kayak and honey, different types of olives, olive oil with spices, spicy tomato paste, eggs , Omelette, bread and simit, peppers and Turkish pastries.
The meaning of serpme kahvaltı is to share the food that is literally spread all over the table and enjoy the experience with family, friends, neighbors, loved ones or anyone who is hungry! Breakfast usually starts with a cup of Turkish tea and ends with Turkish coffee to aid digestion. Turkish coffee is usually served in the traditional way with a lokum (Turkish delight).
Since breakfast lasts long hours and is enough to fill you, the other meals of the day could be skipped or a light dinner would do.
Aegean Türkiye regional breakfast
Breakfast in the Aegean is rich in lush greens. Herbs and olives from the region, paired with fresh feta cheese and the doughy treat, Boyoz, make for an incredible meal. You can find all kinds of jams here, mostly homemade and containing fresh ingredients like apricots, berries, roses, citrus fruits, figs, quinces, eggplants, pomegranates, herbs, walnuts, mastic and even tangerine peel!
Turkish cuisine has an extraordinary jam culture that has been around since the time of the Ottoman Empire until today.
Jam was a luxurious and indispensable food of the Ottoman era. Part of the kitchen was reserved for making jam, and that’s where the cooks made jams all day.
Jam was also considered a remedy in Ottoman cuisine. Sugar was first used by pharmacists in Ottoman times. It was around this time that the health benefits of fruit tree flowers were identified by Ottoman doctors.
In Ottoman cuisine, jam is made from many plants: melons, watermelons, eggplants, green lemons, almonds, hazelnuts, erguvan flowers (Judas tree), lotus flowers, etc. Special gardens were created for the cultivation of products that were used for jams . For rose jam, known as the “Sultan of Jams”, special roses were grown in the garden of the Edirne Palace.
The way the jam was presented was very important. There were special jam jars and the guests were given jam before they were served Turkish coffee.
After a grand banquet in the palace, jam was served. The stylish and sparkling jam jars imported from Europe stood out at these presentations.