Updated: Sep 19, 2021
Simit is not only a sort of bread or bagel covered with sesame seeds, it is a tradition in Turkish Culture. It has a cultural value and goes back to a long history in the Turkish cuisine. Its journey began in the 16th century in Istanbul and it's still a part of the culinary townscape in Istanbul and all over Turkey. At least 60% of the Turkish population is eating every day one Simit, especially in the morning with tea. Tea and Simit is perfect couple and is enjoyed by people in every age.
Simit was served also for the Sultan's during breakfast, lunch and dinner time together with bread. During Ramadan, the Pasha's gave simit to soldiers so that they could start to eat again after a long fast time. All this means that the Simit has an important place in Ottoman time and that it was an important part of the cuisine.
Simit was called as "Simid-i Halka" (the circle bagel) during the old time it become its new name in the 18th century which is now known as "Simit" in every part of Turkey. Simit was first famous within the palace but became public with time and placed itself in to the heart of Turkish People. With time all big and small bakeries, were producing the sesam covered bread and competition started to influence the taste and price. Thereafter, the "Kadı of Istanbul" (Muslim judge, 1761) gave order and permission only to those bakeries who only were baking Simit.
Now, there are many varieties of Simit which are changing in shape, taste and ingredient. Its eaten alone, with turkish tea or especially in summer with Ayran which is a beverage made of Yogurt with water.
Simit is an important food of all students and also of the seagulls which are feeded by passangers transported by the ferries crossing the Bosphorus from one side to the other.
We suggest for Turkey visitors to taste Simit in the original form, covered with sesam and tea. In addition, a really good taste and must try is that one which is served as a sandwich in between with white cheese and tomatoes.
Enjoy it, buon appetite, afiyet olsun.....