If you were asked to tell the first thing that comes to your mind from Turkey's Street Tastes, I am sure that the vast majority would say "simit".
Simit has a long history in Istanbul. Archival sources show that the simit has been produced in Istanbul since 1525. Based on Üsküdar court records (Şer’iyye Sicili) dated 1593, the weight and price of simit was standardized for the first time. The 17th-century traveler Evliya Çelebi wrote that there were 70 simit bakeries in Istanbul during the 1630s. Jean Brindesi's early 19th-century oil paintings about Istanbul daily life show simit sellers on the streets. Warwick Goble, too, made an illustration of these simit sellers of Istanbul in 1906. Simit and its variants became popular across the Ottoman Empire.
Simit is a circular bread, typically encrusted with sesame seeds or, less commonly, poppy, flax or sunflower seeds, found across the cuisines of the former Ottoman Empire, and the Middle East. Simit's size, crunch, chewiness, and other characteristics vary slightly by region. It is widely known as Turkish bagel in the United States.Simit is generally served plain, or for breakfast with tea, fruit preserves, or cheese or ayran. Drinking tea with simit is traditional.
Simit are sold by street vendors in Turkey, who either have a simit trolley or carry the simit in a tray on their head. Street merchants generally advertise simit as fresh ("Taze simit!"/"Taze gevrek!") since they are baked throughout the day; otherwise hot ("Sıcak, sıcak!") and extremely hot ("El yakıyor!" means "It burns the hand!") when they are not long out of the oven.