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Simit & Koulouri


Tha tis the way Turks like to eat simit; with tea. Mostly I also add some cream cheese or khashar

Our Turkish and Greek friends found a new topic to fight; Simit or Koulouri. Let’s start with the definition of these words from WikiPedia:

Simit (Turkish), Aramaic qeluro/qelora, koulouri (Greek: κουλούρι), đevrek (Serbian: ђеврек), gjevrek (Macedonian: ѓеврек), gevrek (Bulgarian: геврек), covrig (Romanian: covrig) (the last four, from “gevrek” in Turkish, meaning “crisp”, which is, in some parts of Turkey, colloquial to “simit”) is a circular bread with sesame seeds, very common in Turkey, as well as in Greece, Serbia, Bulgaria and other parts of the Balkans and Middle East such as Lebanon.

Well, I have eaten bought in many part of Turkey and in Athens and Thessaloniki. My observation is that the Athens and Thessaloniki looks like (and taste like) Simit from the Turkish cities Afyon and Isparta. They look like baked the same. If you ask me the source of it, I am not really sure where it is from and there is no clear information on internet.

A Greek koulouri salesman

YET, this Turkish article of CNN Turk says that when the Istanbul Simit Producer Association applied EU for patent of Simit the Greek newspaper Elefteros Tipos said that “It is known before Jesus and it should not be registered as a Turkish specialty”.

There are some problems with that mentality that it is being hide from Greek people. EU DOES NOT give patents to RACES or NATIONS. EU gives patent to REGIONS. The topic that we are discussing now should be “Did Simit invented in Istanbul, or not?”. Linking everything to nationality is a wrong way of looking at it.


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2016 (c) Ferhat Bingöl