Breakfast Culture in Turkish Cuisine

Breakfast, which is usually the first meal of the day, differs between cultures in terms of the varieties it contains. Breakfast culture in Turkish cuisine is a meal in itself. It is a very important meal. Both savory and sweet foods are consumed for breakfast. It is often the most satisfying meal of the day.

The origin of the word “kahvaltı” means “under coffee”. Hence, it means “before coffee”. In Turkish culture, Morning Coffee means a friendly moment. It is a tradition for Turks to visit friends or neighbors in the morning to drink Turkish coffee together and chat, discuss current news. This coffee break always follows “breakfast”.

Eating three meals a day is a new habit caused by modernization and the industrial process.

Breakfast in Ottoman Cuisine

 In the Ottoman society , there was a habit of eating after the prayers in the mornings and evenings at these times. Thus, only two meals a day were eaten. 

Soup was usually drunk in the morning. Moreover, this habit still continues in rural areas of Anatolia. Soups with different ingredients are cooked according to the regions. For example: ezogelin, tarhana or yogurt soup.

If you go southeast to Gaziantep, you can see a few small restaurants open early in the morning and serve Beyran soup: This traditional soup is only eaten in the morning. 

Breakfast habits in Turkish culture vary greatly from region to region. When the Aegean region is mentioned, various jams, green or black olives and dozens of different green vegetables come to mind.  When the Black Sea is mentioned , breakfast varieties such as cornbread and mihlama come to mind.

setting with cornbread
Breakfast in Antakya with hot bread, olive salad, and curd cheese

According to Turkish tradition, Turkish breakfast is essential in all families without exception. On the table, tea, fresh bread,  pastries  (plain, with cheese, olives, etc.),  bagels , pastries, all kinds of cheese, olives, tomatoes, cucumbers, honey, jams, omelettes or boiled eggs, orange juice…

Although cheese varieties are not missing, cottage cheese is often necessary; almost every region has its own cheese:

Thrace: Ezine or Edirne white cheese, Thrace cheddar cheese

Central Anatolia: Karaman moldy

Towards the Aegean Sea : İzmir or Bergama jumpsuit 

Towards the Black Sea: Trabzon Kolot Cheese, Tulum Cheese

Eastern Anatolia: Kars cheddar, Erzincan tulum cheese

Southeast Anatolia: Diyarbakir knitted cheese

It is a great pleasure for local and foreign tourists to breathe the fresh air and watch the unique view of the city while having breakfast in Istanbul. Breakfast tables with Bosphorus view and Hagia Sophia in Sultanahmet are famous. These breakfasts give a lot of pleasure and turn into a real brunch.

For example, Van’s breakfast is quite famous. There are also restaurants in Istanbul that serve Van breakfast. Van breakfast includes at least 3 kinds of cheese, butter, honey, jam, cream, yoghurt, tomato, cucumber, small green pepper, omelette egg or egg with sausage. In Turkish cuisine, breakfast products and bread are generally organic products.