Flavors of Turkety> From turkish bread to borek
Besides "ekmek" (ordinary white bread), "pide" (flat bread), "simit" (sesame seed rings), and "manti" (similar to ravioli), a whole family of food made up of thin sheets of a pastry called "borek" falls into this category.
The bakers of the Ottoman period believed that after his expulsion from the Garden of Eden, Adam, the Patron Saint of Bakers, learned how to make bread from the Archangel Gabriel. Obviously, the secret is still held dear by present-day Turkish bakers. No other bread tastes like everyday Turkish bread. One realizes the wonderful luxury of Turkish bread only upon leaving the country This glorious food is enjoyed in large quantities and is loved by all, rich and poor, simple and sophisticated. Every neighborhood has a bread bakery that produces the golden, crisp loaves twice a day, morning and afternoon, filling the streets with their irresistible and wholesome aroma. People pick up a few loaves on their way home from work, and end up eating the crisp ends by the time they get there. After a hard day's work, holding the warm loaf is the best reward, convincing one that all is well.
Ekmek, pide and simit are meant to be eaten the same day they are baked. Any leftover ekmek goes into a variety of dishes, becomes chicken feed, or is mixed with milk for the neighborhood cats.
Manti, small dumplings of dough filled with a special meat mix, are eaten with generous servings of garlic yogurt and a dash of melted butter with paprika. This is a meal in itself as a Sunday luncheon for the whole family, to be followed by an afternoon nap.
Borek is a dish for special occasions and requires great skill and patience, unless you have thin sheets of dough already rolled out bought from your comer grocery store. Anyone who can accomplish this delicate task using the rolling pin, becomes the most sought-out person in their circle of family and friends. The sheets are then layered or folded into various shapes before being filled with cheese or meat mixes and baked or fried. Every household enjoys at least five different varieties of Borek as a regular part of its menu.
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