Say 'cheese' - otlu peyniri (herbed cheese) is the centerpiece of the Van kahvalti
When we headed to Turkey we had vague notions of making it to Van, in the far east. Those thoughts took on a certain urgency after we sampled the breakfast spread at Van Kahvalti in Cihangir (in Istanbul's Beyoglu district).
Turkish breakfasts are enormous, and wonderful, to start with. Van kahvalti (Van-style breakfast) is just that much huge-er and more over-the-top (cheese and clotted cream in the same meal). At the center of any Van kahvalti are local cheeses, and first and foremost among these are otlu peyniri, a lovely white cheese flavored with herbs foraged in the spring and preserved in brine.
We did make it to Van, and we're dying to go back. We delve into the Van kahvalti phenomenon, visit Van's cheesiest market, talk otlu peyniri, and ponder the Istanbul's relatively recent Van kahvalti craze in our latest piece for Zester Daily.
There's a slideshow of course. And info -- with a recipe for kavuk (a delicious wheat flour concoction) -- on how to breakfast the Van way. Read it here.