For those who have visited Turkey, reading this will be a ?sweet? remembrance. And for those who haven?t, hopefully, it will be like a guide. One of the things I am happy to be born in this country is that I have the opportunity to live on this delicious food each and every day. So I have been considering to write about Turkish Cuisine for a while, but this means I should start writing a book here, rather than an entry. So I chose to narrow down the topic to desserts. I love anything sweet, and I don?t have much appreciation for those who don?t like eating it.
Traditional Turkish desserts can be divided into three areas: desserts with pastry, desserts with milk and desserts with fruit. If I had to choose one of them, I couldn?t and I wouldn?t because, each of them addresses one of my different, ever-changing dessert mood (now I am in the mood for K? .
Desserts with pastry (if your motto is ?I love carbonhydrate?): Desserts with pastry are generally hard to deal with as a cook (the well-known Baklava is made up of 40 sheets of pastry thin as a veil). So before eating them, we should spend a minute or two respecting them. A dessert with pastry is generally the sweetest thing you will ever eat, be prepared. My favourite one is Ekmek Kadayıfı (made up of two layers somewhat like a bread and some cream which will complement the unique taste).
The best Ekmek Kadayıfı you will eat in İstanbul is in Saray Muhallebicisi in Taksim, Beyoğlu (actually Saray Muhallebicisi is one of the best places you can eat any dessert. So my suggestion is go there and order a dessert from each area).
Baklava has many sub-baklavas, namely Baklava with pistachios, Baklava with nuts, plain Baklava and so on. You can go to Saray but I think G?amp;#287;lu in Karak?s the expert.
I have mentioned K?earlier, it is one of the great wonders of the world. The sweet pastry has cheese in it and it is served hot. It is very very sweet, needs professional care. If you are not into sweet that much, do not try it. I have one and only address for K? it is Uludağ Et Lokantası in Florya, İstanbul. So I am moving on? Tulumba has a hard outside and a sweet inside full of sherbet. I don?t have any special address for this, try Saray again, it can’t be bad. There is Revani which I am not a great fan of, but a lot of people love it. It is like a sponge cake with sherbet. Şam Baba is easily found in Saray, decorated with some fruits, is again made up of a cake and sherbet. I am putting an end to pastries, I feel like I have gained 2 kilos since I began writing.
Desserts with milk (motto ?milk it?): a vast field again. Let?s be simple and start with Muhallebi, milk cooked with starch. It is one of the basic milk desserts. Then, comes my favourite: Fırın S?(aka rice pudding but it is baked in oven). Tavukg?p;#287;s?iterally breast of a chicken, and yes it is made with breast of a chicken. Don?t let your prejudgements beat you. If Tavukg?p;#287;s?aked it is called Kazandibi which is much more delicious. I think these are the ones worth eating.
Desserts with fruit (motto ?fruit of the dessert?): Ayva Tatlısı is my spiritual leader.
It is made up of quince, walnut and cream. Mmmm delicious. There is Kabaktatlısı made with pumpkin but nothing like a pie. The list goes on with distuinguished fruits such as fig, apricot and apple. There is Aşure which has a religious connection and made up of fruits, wheat, chickpea, a very crowded list of ingredients. I think it is a dessert which is one of a kind. (Desserts with milk and fruit can all be found in Saray Muhallebicisi)
I will update the list on demand. I apologise from any dessert that I have forgotten mentioning.