ISTANBUL - Turkish Daily News
The popularity of "simit ve çay" (simit and tea) among Turkish people has begun to manifest itself in fast food chains. A phenomenon called "Simit Sarayı" (Simit Palace) and copycats have popped up all over Istanbul within the last five years.
Simit, a baked ring of bread covered in sesame seeds, is famous throughout the Middle East. The pastry, whose popularity has grown due to its low cost, is bought and sold in practically every town and even on the highways in Turkey. Ferhat Korkmaz has been selling simit in the Mecidiyeköy neighborhood of Istanbul for the past six years. At the end of a 12-hour workday, he sells approximately 150 simits. Korkmaz buys simits from local bakeries for Ykr 50 and sells them to the public for Ykr 75. Right behind Korkmaz stands Istanbul's first "Simit Sarayı," - a palace indeed, compared to what the humble vendors operate. The store sells 500 plain simits a day and up to 2,000 of their cheese and sausage varieties. But Simit Sarayı sells plain simits for Ykr 50, undercutting pushcart vendors.