Many countries around the world are distinguished by their unique food cultures. There are many cities in Turkey known for their rich cuisine, but when breakfast is mentioned, Van comes to mind first. Van breakfast, whose fame has spread around the world, was recently on CNN International. “Why is this city the breakfast capital of the world?” raised the subject. So why is Van breakfast so famous? In fact, there are several reasons for this. However, due to the fact that the local people are engaged in animal husbandry, Van has a wide culinary culture in milk and dairy products. The differentiation of livestock-based products over time has led to the formation of the breakfast and table culture in the city. Thus, Van Breakfast, where the products grown in Van from yesterday to today have been transformed into a feast of taste, has taken its place in the cuisine of the world as a trademark.
Attracting attention with its unique and local flavors, the Van breakfast includes authentic honey obtained from high altitude trays, herb cheese made from a combination of local herbs and highly nutritious “murtuğa” prepared with flour, butter and eggs, kavut roasted in lots of butter and prepared with milk and wheat, yogurt cream, milk cream, butter, tzatziki, knitted cheese, drained yogurt, menemen, feta, egg fried with sausage, tahini-molasses, tandoori bread, olives and gencirrun. If the variety of products included in the breakfast changes depending on the season, this number can reach up to 30.
The fact that Van is on the Silk Road plays an important role in shaping the breakfast tradition. The reason why Van breakfast is well known in our country and in the world is that it entered the Guinness Book of Records and received the certificate of registration of geographical indication.
Today, there are nearly 60 Van à Van breakfast tables. The businesses on “Breakfast Street” serve their customers 24 hours a day. Van breakfast is served with samovar tea, lavash bread prepared with special methods and baked in stone ovens and Van pastries. Along with samovar tea, local herb-fed goat and sheep milk is also offered to guests. Baked and catering products are never sold in Van breakfast rooms.
“WE GIVE BREAKFAST TO 600 TOURISTS PER DAY”
Adnan and Kadir Timur are the third generation operators of Sütçü Fevzi in Van. The company was founded by their grandfather Nusret Şahin. After that, their father continued the business. Adnan Timur, who says they now offer their guests local flavors that have survived hundreds of years ago, said: “Van breakfast essentials include butter, honey, cream, kavut, murtuğa, herb cheese, tzatziki and open pita bread. We produce all these products ourselves. In other words, it consists of all-natural products. Our warm open pita breads and buttered rolls make breakfast better » mentioned. Timur said that the sun rises early in Van and they started serving breakfast very early to villagers who rise early. Stating that tourists have shown great interest in Van breakfast since 1970, Timur said that there are days when they serve breakfast to 600 tourists a day.
‘THESE ARE COMPLETELY NATURAL PRODUCTS’
After his business under Bayram Hotel in Van was destroyed by an earthquake, Ömer Timur opened his new business in Bursa, where he immigrated as İmsak Van Breakfast Hall. Timur said they brought the products directly from Van. “I am the second generation representative of the company. I am 54 years old. I have been doing this job for 44 years. All local Van breakfast products are made from dairy products obtained from animals grazing in the local highlands. The Van breakfast is made with natural products, so it is a well-known breakfast” gave an opinion. Timur said those who want to have breakfast in Van go to milk shops and said that this tradition is still maintained in the businesses on breakfast street in Van.
‘OUR PRODUCTS ARE UNIQUE’
The founder and chef of the Mencel restaurant, Adem Ergin, said Van had a delicious and rich table.
“The fact that the production process and cooking techniques of the products are different from yesterday to today plays an important role in this. Since our city is home to many civilizations, our table has been greatly affected by this situation. We created the first breakfast culture in our country with the Breakfast Van. Many products such as herbal cheese, murtuğa, kavut and siyabolu roasting are not found anywhere in our country or in the world. Our breakfast culture is based on friendliness and hospitality.”
“LOCAL FLAVORS ENJOY THE PALATE”
Gastronomy Writer Gülhan Kara, who said Van’s breakfast is popular because it’s made with local produce, said breakfast changed a bit when it moved to other places. cities of Van. Kara said the indispensable part of the Van breakfast is local produce from the region. “Delights such as Van honey, herb cheese, cream, molasses, butter, scrambled eggs and murtuga enliven the palate. These delicacies are eaten by dipping them in tandoori bread. These are the most important features of Breakfast Van” mentioned. Explaining that all-natural, local produce in Van is served with hot pancakes and freshly brewed tea in the oven, Kara said the tea is served in a samovar. Kara said that preparing the Van breakfast at an early hour and with such energetic materials makes the people of the region work in the fields, and drew attention to the fact that in this way their energy needs daily physicals are satisfied.