Simit is similar to a bagel, but is thinner and lighter. It’s also soft on the inside and crunchy on the outside, like a pretzel. Different from a bagel, a twisted ring is dipped in grape molasses and rolled in sesame seeds before being baked.
Simit is an unofficial symbol of Turkey, it’s a part of the culture. The image of simit with a glass of tea is an iconic symbol to represent Istanbul. Typically eaten in the morning, either plain, or accompanied with cheese, tomatoes, olives – or just a glass of tea. Street vendors, stands and old-fashioned carts sell simit on every street corner, all day long. It’s a snack on the go, and costs 1TL. If you pay 1,40TL, you’re being ripped off.
In certain residential areas, like ours, you can find simitçi (a person selling simit) who walks the streets shouting “simit”.
I was able to take this shot of simitçi selling simit through our front window. Every weekend this is how we purchase ours, when preparing for our breakfast.
For people in NYC, there’s a Turkish simit chain, Simit Sarayi in the Garment District on 5th Ave. I am not in anyway recommending it, since NYC has the BEST bagels and I’m sure the simit tastes better in Istanbul, so to truly understand it’s taste and not get ripped off – come to Turkey to enjoy.