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Similar to what the majority of us now know to be true, breakfast is deemed the most important meal of the day. But boy does Van in Eastern Turkey take that to a whole other level.
Turkish breakfast. (Photo: Courtesy of Cooking The Globe)
Turkish breakfast equals a meal of epic proportions often including an array of fresh cheeses, olives, egg dishes, jams, and grilled sausage. And to top it all, a cup of black tea usually seals the deal.
Van and breakfast are so integral to one another that Van-style breakfast restaurants have opened in neighbouring cities Istanbul and Ankara. The restaurants are known for serving regional delicacies such as the famous otlu peynir, a potent crumbly cheese dish spiked with wild garlic, locally referred to as sirmo.
Being so integral to Van, a backstreet that connects to the main boulevard in the city is known as Breakfast Makers Street. All if this makes the place a must-visit when in the eastern part of the country.
The wild garlic that gives otlu peynir its kick is sourced from the nearby mountains in Van and the butter comes from the nearby district of Özalp.
The city centre transforms into a massive open-air market with dozens of street vendors grilling liver and chicken kebabs, together with corn cobs and plentiful servings of black tea from mobile samovars.