Monday, May 16, 2016

2016Feb.Istanbul 12 - Hacı Bekir: Turkish Delight

In the morning in Istanbul. It was foggy and a bit misty.
Seeing old city from Karaköy ferry pier. Beyond Golden Horn is not seen well.

It was Friday and commuter time. Numbers of ferry boats are going around.
These ferries are relatively bigger ones, crossing Bosphorus Strait to/from Asian side of the city.

Simit, Turkish sesame sprinkled bagles, are sold like this. Typical sights in Istanbul.
A young guy is buying simit from the seller.

I arrived at tram station, took just one stop to Eminonu, the other side of Garata bridge.
The tram line T-1 is operated with low-floored VVVF powered modern cars, well, made by Alstom, the sign suggests.

From the tram station to Hacı Bekir, the Loqum shop, is only a block away. 2 minutes on foot.
However, the old shop is closed and the point of sales moved to the next door...

Here's inside of the shop.
It's just after 9 am and is already busy. many loqums. I am totally confused.
Those fresh ones are relatively too soft to bring back. So I had to choose redy-packed in cardboard boxed ones because they guaranteed the taste must be 'almost similar' to the fresh ones. So... I purchased 'double-roasted' extra pistachio and walnut ones. But next time, I would like to try "rose water" or "cream in the center" because rose essence is one of the Turkish specialties. I have to ask seller a piece I wish to taste, otherwise I might grab a Turkish Delight flavored with perfume...

Now returning to the hotel room with holding bags of Turkish Delights.
There is a big mosque "Yeni Camii", means "New Mosque", between Eminonu station and the Loqum shop. I certainly remembered this mosque because my spouse J was pretty much impressed the "New" mosque was built in 1600s.

In front of the mosque, there was a red tabby-san. He supposedly is a free-range, feral cat.
In Istanbul, there are lots of kitties. Most of traditional Muslims don't have dogs because the saliva of a dog is "ritually impure" due to Qur'an? Therefore, instead of having dogs, there are bunch of kittens around. It is a fun for feline lovers like me but... some of them are very friendly, then my concern is the flea. Otherwise are not so friendly but sometimes vicious. I have to be careful from the severe scratches.

Taking the tram back to the hotel room, but I stopped by for my sweet tooth...


  1. obaKoba-sann,

    As well as köfte, I’m very impressed by ‘simits’.

    Are simits in most cases offered for the first meal of the day with some beverage, thickened berries or cheese?

    Is taking tea with simits usual in Turkey?

    Are simits merchandised by the dealers on the street, who carry a trolley or something like that?

    Are simits a valuable sign for under or intermediate-category folk of Turkey?

    Sorry, you’re an American, not a Turk…

    best denki

    1. Best Denki sensei,

      Simits are roughly say "bagels totally covered with roasted sesame seeds" and typically served for breakfast, as well as tea time or just a snack munchies. Turkish people drink either coffee or tea, but coffee is very strong so the small portion of hot tea with two cubes of sugar is the standard, and a simit is conbined with the tea quite often. That's exactly I saw around the cafe and stands around ferry pier, or streets.
      Sisit is one of typical Turkish breads and very common to everybody, due to my understandings. Therefore, whomever whether rich or poor, they take simits depends on their preferences. But simit kiosks on the streets are commonly acquired by intermediate income people as per sensei expected. Rich people are driving loud engine equipped, pig-nosed or flog-like German cars, they don't stop at those simit kiosks. ☺

      I have tried a quarter-cut piece of simit at the hotel breakfast. It was strongly flavorful sesame, and the bread texture itself is slightly drier than American bagels. Not bad, not shabby at all, it's tasty. But I definitely need juice, coffee or tea for swallowing it.

  2. トルコの常食なんですねえ、このパン。胡麻が入っていると。屋台で売られているほど、一般的なのね。

    1. シミットはほんとに「胡麻つきベーグル」みたいですが、皮がもうちょっとカリカリめです。このシミット売りの屋台は街中あちこちにあります。出勤途中に買ってたり、フェリーの船着き場で時間潰しに買って食べてるみたいですが... 水分が少ないので僕には食べ難かったです。フランスパンみたいなエキメキEkimekが日本人には凄く美味しく感じるはずです。形状がフランスのバゲットみたいだけどモチモチ感は日本の食パンみたいなんです。トルコのパンは世界一美味しいって威張る人がいるのも判る気がします。