Baklava is a sweet dessert, made from layers of filo pastry and melted butter, and layers of nuts (pistachio or walnut). It’s cut into rectangle, diamond or triangle shapes then baked. Once baked, a syrup is poured over, making it sticky and sweet. The thin, crispy filo pastry is softened by the syrup as it penetrates through every layer. It’s often served with ice cream or cream and sometimes has more pistachio nuts finely ground on top.
Kunefe is a popular, authentic Turkish dessert. It’s made from kadayıf (dried shredded dough which looks like shredded wheat) and cheese. It is covered in syrup and eaten straight out of the oven when hot, so the cheese is stringy and gooey but the pastry is crispy. It’s sometimes served with crushed pistachios, like the photo above.
The combination of cheese and syrup doesn’t sound like it would be good together, but it is!
Sütlaç is Turkish rice pudding. There are two types – simple rice pudding cooked on the stove, and ‘fırın sütlaç’ – where it’s put in the oven afterwards to brown off, which gives it a different taste. It’s always served cold and can be flavoured with lots of different things, but usually vanilla. The first photo was a simple banana flavoured rice pudding made by Berkay’s aunt, the ones below are oven-baked rice pudding, vanilla flavoured with coconut on top.
I do like the taste, but the texture puts me off a bit, especially when it has the skin on!
Lokma are balls of dough, deep fried then covered in sweet, sticky syrup, best served while hot or warm.
Crispy on the outside but soft in the middle, when you bite into them they are slightly chewy, they are similar to donuts, but less cakey.
Lokma is often made in large batches and is a popular choice of food at celebrations or festivals, given out for free by families to all the local people during weddings, henna nights, openings of new shops/restaurants and even during sünnet (circumcision celebrations) and funerals (a certain amount of days after someone dies, their family arranges to serve food to local people).
When we were down in Ölüdeniz in April, there was a parade and celebration marking the official start of the summer season and they were cooking fresh batches of Lokma in the street and handing them out to everyone passing by. Wherever you find a stall giving them away, you can be sure there will be a huge line of people waiting!
Delicious, sticky, gooey, crispy… and full of sugar!