Esendemir Sisters Turkish Breakfast

Turkish Breakfast

Food is a really important part of our Turkish culture. Turkish people have a love and appreciation for food that extends well beyond any social or economic boundaries. We Esendemir Sisters all share a mutual fondness of traditional, simple Turkish food that will never change. One of the things we think about often and adore from our childhood are the memories of mornings our mother would prepare us a bountiful, traditional Turkish breakfast. In our culture, a traditional breakfast is one of the most simple, but beautiful ways to spend time with your family members and to start the day off right. For the past few years, we have been running around like crazy, so we have hardly had the opportunity to make time for a sit down family breakfast. We have however, constantly said to each other, how much we miss eating Turkish breakfast. We finally decided to make time for a sit down Turkish breakfast with our brother (yes, we have a brother), our sister-in-law, and our parents. Our father took us to the Turkish market to pick up some of the staples that make up a Turkish breakfast since you cannot really buy some of these items in regular grocery stores. Our mom was super excited and of course, immediately took over the kitchen and refused to let anyone help her do anything. Our mother is very traditional and unphased by the modern world and all its advances. She still prefers to do things the traditional way and will not allow anyone to assist her in the kitchen. She is a terrific cook and she becomes passionately entrenched in whatever dish she is making. Anyone who wants to understand where our culinary skills come from just needs to spend five minutes watching our mother or father cook and it will all make sense to them. Both our parents are terrific cooks who love and appreciate good food. Below is our visual diary of our weekend Turkish breakfast. A Turkish breakfast is called kahvaltı, which translates into: ‘under coffee’ (food you eat before you drink your coffee).

The essentials of a Turkish breakfast as we enjoy it are as follows: tea (the stronger, the better, earl grey or english breakfast is the best), white cheese (tastes a little like feta, but a bit more mild), kasar cheese, olives (zeytin), various flavors of jam/jelly, honey, butter, bread (simit and pita are our favorites for breakfast), eggs, sucuk, tomatoes and cucumbers. 

Fusun Esendemir, Gonca Esendemir, Arzu Esendemir At The Turkish Market
Fusun Esendemir, Gonca Esendemir, Arzu Esendemir At The Turkish Market

There are a few specialty Turkish items that cannot be found in regular grocery stores. One of our favorite types of Turkish cheeses, other than feta, is kasar. It is also the second most popular cheese in Turkey. It is an un-aged cheese made from cow’s milk. You can buy it ‘hard’ or ‘soft’. We prefer the softer kind since it’s easier to cut. It is delicious by itself, but we really enjoy eating it with tomatoes, olives and combining it with feta cheese. It also compliments the sucuk (more on that below) very well, balancing out the spices.

Tradtional Turkish Cheeses
Tradtional Turkish Kasar Cheese

Olives are a huge part of the Turkish diet and have a very prominent place in a breakfast setting. Whether you are at the Turkish Market or in Turkiye itself, there is always a large olive selection. We prefer green olives and traditional Turkish black olives.

Turkish Olives
Turkish Olives
Turkish Olives
Turkish Olives
Green Olives
Green Olives

We don’t get to spend much time with our sister-in-law, unfortunately, but it’s always a pleasure to see her. She is a working woman and has a job that demands much of her time.

Gonca Esendemir, Arzu Esendemir, Mom, Sister-In-Law
Gonca, Arzu, Mom, Sri

Our mom is very, very traditional, having grown up on a farm, and doesn’t flinch at modern technology (you’ll also notice her hair, which she puts henna on herself… she is very self-sufficient). By the time one of us found a cutting board to give her, she was already finished cutting up the sucuk (a dry, seasoned sausage that is very popular in Turkey).

Esendemir Sisters Mother
Mom Cutting Up The Sucuk

Sucuk is a very popular type of Turkish sausage and also one of our favorite things to eat for breakfast! It is one of the most popular types of fermented meat product in Turkey. It is very hearty and tasty. Many people prefer their sucuk spicy, but we opted for a mild version since the spicy version tends to be a bit too overwhelming.

Sucuk Turkish Sausage
Sucuk (Turkish Sausage)

Sucuk can be eaten by itself, but Turkish people eat it with eggs. Our mom cooked the sucuk a bit first and then added the eggs later. Many people also throw feta cheese into the mix, but we wanted to have the feta cheese served on the side.

Esendemir Sisters Mom Cooking
Our Mom Cooking The Sucuk

Our mom will not sit down when she is cooking. She also demands everyone get out of her way and let her work. She doesn’t mess around. She moves quick and furiously and doesn’t like interruptions. Cooking is serious business to her. Arzu took over and cooked the eggs into the sucuk. It’s important to cook it properly because you don’t want to overcook the sucuk, it will dry out and dried out sucuk is not tasty (and very difficult to chew).

Arzu Esendemir Cooking
Arzu Esendemir Cooking
Turkish Breakfast Sucuk & Eggs
Sucuk And Eggs Cooking
Turkish Breakfast Sucuk And Eggs
Sucuk And Eggs Cooked

While the eggs and sucuk cooked together, we prepared the sides. Our mom also noticed that we had forgotten to buy cucumbers and sent our older sister off to the grocery store to buy some because we couldn’t have a Turkish breakfast without cucumbers!

Gonca Esendemir
Mom And Gonca Esendemir
Gonca Esendemir, Arzu Esendemir, Turkish Breakfast
Mom Showing Us How Its Done
Gonca Esendemir & Arzu Esendemir
Mom, Sri, Gonca and Arzu Esendemir
Fusun Esendemir
Fusun Esendemir
Turkish Breakfast Sides
Turkish Breakfast SIdes
Turkish Breakfast Side
The Sides For Our Turkish Breakfast

Bread is a really important part of Turkish breakfast. Simit is a very, very popular type of Turkish bread. It is round, with a hole in the middle and almost always has sesame seeds on it. Fresh simit is delicious! Pita is also another type of popular bread in Turkey, but is considered a ‘flatbread’.

Turkish Simit
Turkish Simit
Turkish Simit
Turkish Simit
Turkish Pita
Turkish Pita
Porcelain Turkish Plates
Handpainted Turkish Porcelain Plates
Turkish Nut Butter
Turkish Nut Butter

Tea is a really big part of Turkish culture.

Turkish Tea Cups
Turkish Tea Cups
Turkish Breakfast Tea
Turkish Breakfast Tea
Turkish Breakfast Setting
Turkish Breakfast Setting

Family is and will always be the most important thing in the world to us.

Esendemir Sisters Family
Our Family
Arzu Esendemir Drinking Tea
Arzu Esendemir Drinking Tea
Gonca Esendemir, Fusun Esendemir And Arzu Esendemir Enjoy Their Turkish Breakfast
Gonca Esendemir, Fusun Esendemir And Arzu Esendemir Enjoy Their Turkish Breakfast
Gonca Esendemir And Arzu Esendemir Enjoying Turkish Breakfast
Gonca Esendemir And Arzu Esendemir Enjoying Turkish Breakfast
Gonca Esendemir And Arzu Esendemir
Gonca Esendemir And Arzu Esendemir

Hope you enjoyed! Cheers… from our family to yours!

Gonca, Arzu, Fusun Esendemir Enjoy Turkish Breakfast
Cheers To Family!
Arzu, Fusun, Gonca And Sri Esendemir
Arzu, Fusun, Gonca And Sri Esendemir

8 Comments

  1. Thank you for sharing your turkish breakfast photos. I enjoyed scrolling through!
    I also love the emphasis on how important family is to you girls and what a lovely family you have! I looked up Turkey’s location. I didn’t realize it was so close to Greece! I will be visiting Greece within the year. I will have to make a stop over to Turkey while I am overseas. Have a blessed day!

  2. Wonderful photo blog post. I really enjoying seeing these elements of Turkish breakfast cuisine! I’m a big fan of Flatbread Grill, and it’s really interesting to see the Esendemir sisters in action ‘behind the scenes’ too.

  3. Wow the photography was terrific! It made me hungry just to look at the pictures. I love breakfast! It is my favorite meal of the day. Chuck (my non-committed boyfriend) and I try all kinds of different breakfast traditions. We have worked our way through Scandinavia and the British isles and have done some far eastern fare as well. We will have to try Turkish breakfast now. Your family looks like a wonderful one. Thanks for sharing. I am going to check out your other posts for more insight.

  4. It’s so nice of you to share these photos of your family! That food really looks yummy and you’ve made me want to look up some Turkish recipes and try them out ;)! I also like the Turkish pita and the Turkish Nut butter looks amazing! I didn’t know that tea is so important in your culture; I’m glad I learned something new today – and I am a big fan of drinking tea myself.

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