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Sep 17
Sesame Ring Circus

We’ve previously sung the praises of the humble but mighty simit, naming it one of our “Top 5” street foods and marveling at its ability to take on the bagel on its home turf.

It looks like Istanbul municipal officials have gotten wise to the bread ring’s rise. Yesterday marked the beginning of the first ever “Sultanahmet Simit Festival,” sponsored by the local municipality and the tourism office of the Istanbul governor’s office. Beyond, of course, offering simits, the festival will also feature music performances and the presentation of a new documentary about the ubiquitous baked street snack (title: “Be Spread, Sesame Seeds”).

Turkish officials and businessmen clearly have high hopes for the simit. According to an article in today’s Hurriyet Daily News, the head of the Turkish Franchise Association said at a press conference that he believes the simit could become a global culinary icon, in the same league as “sushi or spaghetti.”

Istanbul’s Provincial Culture and Tourism Minister, meanwhile, told reporters that his office is, ahem, “advising” hotels in Istanbul “to to offer simit along with a glass of tea and aged cheese at their five o’clock teas.” Yes sir!

More details on the simit festival (sadly, only in Turkish) can be found on the festival’s official website, here.

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