/Turkish Breakfast – Kahvaltı

Turkish Breakfast – Kahvaltı


The residents of the great state of New Jersey do so many things so well. For example, we are very good at fitting 1,175 people on one square mile of land, we excel at spoon collecting (Don’t believe me? Check out the Lambert Castle Museum), and we make a damn good breakfast. Accordingly, my expectations for population density, silverware hoarding, and breakfast complexity are high. Some of my earliest food memories are in diners where massive breakfast spreads would fill a food pyramid many times over with their incredible diversity: pancakes, sausage links, scrambled eggs, toast with butter, hash browns, and bacon, just for starters.

It was not until I visited Turkey that I realized another place on this planet could compete with the fair Garden State by serving a ridiculous number of things on one plate and calling it the first meal of the day. But kahvaltı, Turkish breakfast, is almost healthy. Sliced cucumbers and peeled tomatoes are a staple, as are olives and cheeses. So far so good, right? Well, instead of butter and jam, there is kaymak and honey. And let’s not mention that I eat all the kaymak until it is gone (read: I eat an entire loaf of bread first thing in the morning). In conclusion, I love Turkish breakfast because it provides diversity that awakens my nostalgia for home, but does so in a way that throws in some healthy things, to mitigate the impact of all those carbs and pure fat. What a way to start the day.

2016-01-09T13:33:01+00:00 September 15th, 2009|Categories: America, Carbs, Turkish Cuisine|9 Comments


  1. Tom September 15, 2009 at 2:48 pm - Reply

    Katie–I didn’t know you were from NJ; so am I. Born and raised and lived here all of my 48 years! Of course that will have to change some day…maybe Italy as a second home? Who knows. Always nice to meet a fellow NJ-ite though. And yes, diners with big breakfasts are such a fond memory. IHOP and Howard Johnson’s too!

  2. eru September 16, 2009 at 12:18 am - Reply

    Thanks for having a post for breakfast in Turkey. One clarification: If we are talking about a Turkish Breakfast, %90 it is not healthy. The one that you took the pic for looks a little weak. Especially if you are with family / friends, breakfast is taking around two hours. A Turkish breakfast for special occasions / weekends (whenever you have time)

    — two or three types of cheese
    — two or three types of jam
    — pastries (pogaca, kek, borek)
    — bal / kaymak / butter
    — olives, tomatoes
    — depending on the origin of the family, smoked red peppers
    — green peppers
    — boiled and / or scrambled eggs
    — quite a few cups of tea …

    You can see there are some places serving just breakfasts.

    Now i am at the airport and will be in Istanbul in 6 hours. Its breakfast time 🙂


    • Katie September 18, 2009 at 11:29 am - Reply

      Eru, I wrote the breakfast post just for you. I dont have much experience eating Turkish breakfast at people’s houses so my judgement was made based on what I get when I order kahvalti out. To get eggs, I’ve got to ask for menemen. If I want bal ve kaymak, gotta ask for that separately, too. Guess I gotta work on the home invites…

  3. JP September 19, 2009 at 7:50 pm - Reply

    What a great way to start a day of sightseeing in Istanbul. Could hardly bring myself to eat cereal and fruit after seeing this post. Beautiful pic!

  4. Travis September 26, 2009 at 4:09 am - Reply

    That looks delish. Nice photo, too!

  5. Katie September 29, 2009 at 7:32 pm - Reply

    @JP when are we going back?

    @Travis Thanks!

  6. Travellious.com October 13, 2009 at 12:46 am - Reply

    Tweetup in Rome…

    Image: aghman.

    Last Saturday (May 24, 2009) we hosted a dinner in Garbatella for travel bloggers, food lovers and friends. We got to taste some great artisanal Italian food and wine, and got to meet some of our favorite twitterers at the same time….

  7. Mehmet May 19, 2012 at 5:04 pm - Reply

    Don’t you please forget hashasli,patatesli kiymali borek,sucukand pastirma…
    some regions start with soup such as paca,
    winter pekmez must.because pekmez keeps you warm and boost the energy.
    Tereyag variety countless in turkish breakfast culture list goes on….
    regions and season is determines the variety…
    I am happy to see other cultures interest on my culture…

  8. On Selçuk | A Turkish Tour June 23, 2014 at 8:29 pm - Reply

    […] and breakfast abode for the night, we marvelled at the vine-filled courtyard where we would eat our Turkish-style Kahvaltı (“kah-vall-tuh,” breakfast) the next […]

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