The simit, a sesame-covered bread resembling an oversized bagel, is Turkey's unofficial national food. Traditionally sold and eaten on the street, it has been around since at least the Ottoman times. It has been documented in writings and illustrations for centuries; more recently, politicians have used simits as a measure of basic subsistence. Turkey has been cracking down on street food vendors though. And the simit has been facing competition from international snacks like pizza. And companies including Starbucks and the home-grown bakery chain Simit Sarayi have also been making it harder for more traditional simit-bakers and simit-sellers to survive.

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