Turkish Bread Culture
Turkish bread culture has a very rich history. This culture has made an important contribution to Turkish cuisine throughout history. Different types of bread are made in different regions of Turkey and each has its own unique flavor.
The history of Turkish bread culture has a history of thousands of years. While the Turks were living a nomadic life in Central Asia, they used to make wholemeal bread to feed their animals. Later, they started to make bread by grinding and fermenting the wheat they found in their land.
In the historical process, the Turks spread to different geographies and different types of bread began to be made in these geographies. For example, breads such as pita, flatbread and simit made in Anatolia are among the most important parts of Turkish cuisine.
During the Ottoman Empire, bread making became a profession. In this period, breads were baked in special ovens and on special stones. In places like the “Ramadan-ı Şerif Bread Factory” in Istanbul, hundreds of people used to work for bread production.
With the Republican era, bread production and consumption became more widespread in Turkey. Today, different types of bread are made in different regions in Turkey. For example, lavash made in the Southeastern Anatolia Region is not the same as simit in western Turkey.
Turkish bread culture has an important place not only in Turkey but also in other parts of the Turkish world. Different types of bread such as tandoori bread made in Uzbekistan and baursak made in Kazakhstan show the richness of Turkish culture.
Bread, or “ekmek” as it’s known in Turkish, is central to Turkish culture, and arguably always has been. Nomadic Turks have been consuming bread for millennia, and bread is an indelible part of Turkish culture and Turkish cuisine. Almost every meal you eat will be served with fresh bread, and soaking up the juices or oils of another delicious Turkish meal is always one of its highlights.
Bread is made in a wide variety of ways and differs from region to region within Turkey. Each region, and often each bakery, has their own secrets to how to produce the perfect bread and these secrets are passed down from generation to generation. There is a premium placed on freshness in Turkey the likes of which you’ll see in very few other countries in the world, with lines out the door in bakeries three times a day as the bread is baked freshly for breakfast, lunch and dinner. In the Ottoman period, it was believed that Adam, after getting expelled from the Garden of Eden, was the Patron Saint of Bakers after he learned how to bake from the Archangel Gabriel.