Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Travel Bite: Turkish Bagel Vendors

When I was in Turkey, I photographed an array of street vendors selling Turkish bagels called simit (see-meet). They’re made by dipping a ring of dough in grape molasses and sesame seeds before baking. The most eye-catching vendor I saw was walking around with simits on his head. I wondered if he slipped, would he simply pick them up and restock his cranium?

Despite all the mosques, cleanliness was not next to godliness. I saw a customer squeeze half the simits in this vendor's wheelbarrow before finding his favorite.

The most common simit vendors were similar to the ones I saw in Poland (see previous post—Travel Bite: Polish Bagel Vendor). As I noted there, the bagel was invented in Krakow, and one account says it was created in the shape of a stirrup to commemorate the victory of Poland over the Ottoman Turks in 1683. That explains the similarities between Polish and Turkish bagels. Now the story has come full circle, so to speak.

1 comment:

  1. That's a picture straight out of one of my fantasies.... someone with a big wheelbarrow full of bagels coming straight for me. Aaah. :D