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Traditional Turkish Desserts You Should Try

Turkish cuisine is not only famous for its meals but also its desserts. Every region and almost every province has a special dessert. Here, we present some of the most traditional Turkish desserts for you.

1- Kunefe

Kunefe is the dessert of the southeastern part of Turkey. It is a cheese-filled syrupy dessert with crushed pistachio nuts on top. The recipe of kunefe is believed to originated in Hatay, a province that still bakes the best kunefes. This might be a good reason to visit this cosmopolitan city.

2- Baklava

Baklava is probably one of the most known Turkish desserts in the world. This is a favorite dessert for Turkish people as there are a lot of families who have devoted themselves only to this job. The tradition of preparing Baklava has passed from generation to another in turkey. There are many baklava bakers who have spent more than a decade in making this dessert. These are mostly located in the heart of Turkey, Gaziantep but you can try and enjoy it anywhere in Turkey.

3- Sutlac

Sutlac is a delicious, healthy, and light Turkish dessert that will settle your stomach after a heavy dinner. The dessert is known as baked rice pudding in the west. Its ingredients are butter, milk, sugar, and rice. Sutlac is an ancient dessert that had its place even in ancient medical books written 600 years ago. You can find it anywhere and in any restaurant in Turkey. If you visit the northern region of Turkey, do not miss the chance to have “Hamsiköy Sutlacı”.

4- Maraş Dondurması (Battered Ice Cream)

Maras dondurması is battered ice cream which originates from the eastern Anatolian city of Maraş. It is different from other ice creams because Maraş ice cream is so thick that it requires a knife and fork to eat. Thickness comes from its ingredients, salep and mastic. There are a lot of popular videos in which a man in ottoman costume makes and plays with ice cream, pretends to give it to people but takes it back – that is Maraş ice cream! So, you have to know the tricks to take it. Enjoy your ice cream!

5- Irmik Helvasi (Semolina Helva)

Irmik Helvasi is a delicious Turkish dessert, yet it is also the dessert of mourning. Traditionally, Turkish people cook this dessert when one of their family members or relatives passes away as it signifies good luck and fortune, and this is why the dessert has a lot of varieties. Irmik helvası is usually served with vanilla ice cream in restaurants. You may find this delicious dessert in any restaurant in Turkey.

6- Kaymakli Kadayif

Kaymakli kadayif is a Turkish sweet dessert made of shredded wheat in syrup. It looks like Künefe, but does not consist of cheese and usually flavored with pistachios or walnuts and melted clotted cream beneath the shredded wheat. You can have this delicious sweet dessert in every dessert shop in Turkey.

7- Katmer

Katmer is an ancient flaky pastry of Anatolia and probably the most loved Turkish dessert by tourists. It dates back to the 11th century. The delicious dessert is usually served with chopped pistachios and Turkish clotted cream “kaymak” on the top. If you ever visit Istanbul, Kadikoy, you must try it in “Çiya Restaurant”. The taste is unforgettable!

8- Hayrabolu Tatlısı

Hayrabolu Tatlisi is an underrated dessert. It originated in western Thrace, Tekirdağ. The main ingredients for this dessert are salt-free cheese and sesame butter as its sauce. You may not find this dessert in every restaurant in Istanbul, but if you visit Tekirdağ or Edirne don’t miss these sweet cheese balls!

9- Kazandibi

Another delicious dessert from Ottoman cuisine is kazandibi. The ingredients of kazandibi are flour, milk, mastic gum, and sugar. Kazandibi means “bottom of the pan” in Turkish, but it is also known as burnt milky pudding. The name comes from its caramelized look which gives its earthy taste. You can find kazandibi in almost every restaurant in Turkey. Enjoy it!

10- Lokum (Turkish Delight)

Another well known Turkish dessert is lokum. Lokum is a delicious, sweet cube that has too many varieties flavored with rose, lemon, mastic etc., but the one with pistachio is mostly loved. It was invented in the 18th century by Bekir Efendi. Lokum is usually served with coffee or tea after lunch or dinner in Turkey. If you ever drink coffee or tea in a restaurant, there is no doubt you will have these sweet cubes!

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