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A great breakfast to start her day

My work is mainly about coordination and knowledge management. I have been assisting with the development of a regional knowledge platform on HIV, Human Rights, and the Law as well as research related to Key Populations and health governance. I also contribute to UNDP’s event stream, supporting the Fourth EECA Judges’ Forum on HIV, Human Rights, and the Law, Workshop on the “Future of UNDP’s anti-corruption work in Europe and Central Asia region,” etc.

To keep myself going throughout the day it is important to have a great breakfast, and thankfully in Turkey you won’t go hungry (:

Turkish Breakfast

“Enjoy your meal” is probably the most often heard word in Turkey – it certainly represents Turkish people’s passion and pride for their cuisine. Though Kebabs and Baklava may be the best-known Turkish food, I found traditional Turkish breakfast the most impressive.

Kahvalti (“breakfast” in Turkish) is the most important meal of the day, and it has become a ritual for the Turks to bring families and friends together. Just like our family dinner, Sunday breakfast in Turkey can last from 9 am to 1 pm.

A traditional Turkish breakfast contains bread, about a dozen dips and sauces, fresh cheeses, black and green olives, vegetables, and Turkish black tea.

Bread: Simit is the most typical type of bread for Kahvalti. It’s a doughy ring coated with sesame. It is torn into small pieces and dipped into all kinds of jams and sauces.

Spreads: The careful selection of spreads – which could be savory, sweet, and spicy – is the real star of Kahvalti. Black olive spread, honey with unsalted butter, and hazelnut spreads are popular, but some restaurants also offer local-style spreads using ingredients that I can’t name.

Cheeses: Kahvalti comprises at least two or three kinds of cheeses. Feta cheese, kasseri, civil peyniri, … Exploring cheeses of different shapes and flavors is always my favorite part.

Breakfast is the start of a day; Kahvalti is my first taste of Turkish culture.


Ashley Wu

Placement Site: HIV, Health and Development Team, Istanbul Regional Hub, United Nations Development Programme


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