What the German has his roll, croissant or pretzel, the Turk has his simit.
Available as a small snack at mostly mobile stands from a "simitci" in almost every Turkish city, it is quickly enjoyed with a "çay" as a snack.
Price increase of more than 40% is recorded
A shock for many citizens when suddenly a price increase of more than 40% is recorded in Istanbul. Even more extreme when this price increase is only demanded on the European side of the Bosphorus.
The "simitci" sesame rings made from yeast dough, which were always almost completely covered by sesame seeds, are a real delicacy when bought fresh and crispy while still warm from the oven. Sometimes the many sesame seeds are a small drawback, because they like to be stored between the teeth in the mouth and thus make it necessary to brush your teeth afterwards. It is precisely these sesame seeds that are said to be responsible for the considerable price increase, because sesame is hardly ever grown in Turkey. So sesame has to be imported as a raw material from China and India at great expense. Three million tons of sesame seeds are produced worldwide every year, mainly in China and India. Around 900,000 tons go into world trade and a not inconsiderable part of it - 140,000 - 150,000 tons - into the Turkish bakeries.
"simitci" at the pier in Kadikoy
Due to poor harvests, sesame production fell by about 50% this year, but this alone cannot be the cause of the blatant, one-sided price increase in Istanbul, where a simit now costs 1.40 TL in the European part while the price in the Asian part side is still at 1.00 TL. The first protests are being raised, especially since the import duty for sesame is 23.4%. For many types of baked goods and the associated raw materials, the import duty is only 10%. Really serious explanations as to why this price difference is so blatant in Istanbul could not be obtained from the relevant "simitci" at the pier in Kadikoy.
Whether this was just the attempt by one of the two large bakeries to raise the price so sharply in order to optimize profits, or whether it was actually a question of such a huge cost explosion for the raw material sesame, has not yet been found out. Anyway, the price for a Simit is for normal consumers much too high, even for the enthusiast.
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