The Bosphorus is a water strait with Europe on one side and Asia, and it divides Istanbul into two continents. With a population of close to 15 million, Istanbul is Turkey’s most crowded city. Istanbul also hosts millions of tourists from all over the world throughout the year.
In addition to its location, Istanbul is among the most beautiful cities in the world with its history and culture. It has hosted many civilizations. Therefore, it carries traces of many different cultures. Istanbul is a place where tradition and modernity meet shoulder to shoulder.
Ottoman Cuisine and Desserts
Istanbul was the capital of the legendary Ottoman Empire for nearly 500 years. Although the Ottoman Empire has not survived, Ottoman traditions, including food culture, are still alive in Istanbul. Especially desserts.
It is still possible to find and taste the desserts, which are widely consumed in Ottoman cuisine, in Istanbul. Now let’s examine 5 delicious desserts from Ottoman cuisine:
Baklava has a special place among Ottoman and Turkish desserts. Baklava is still consumed in almost all the lands conquered by the Ottomans.
The crushed peanuts are placed between the paper-thin sheets of dough. Crushed peanuts grown in southern Turkey are sandwiched between sheets of paper-thin phyllo.
After baking for 30 minutes in a high-temperature oven, the baklava tray is soaked in boiling hot sherbet.
Kunefe is made with hair-thin paste, butter, and unsalted goat cheese.
It was traditionally cooked on a charcoal barbecue. Today, however, gas burners are used to cook kunefes thicker and faster. While serving the kunefe, a piece of vanilla ice cream and a pinch of pistachio is added to it.
Kazandibi has a special ingredient. It can also be called a sticky, sugary rice pudding.
Mixed with rice, flour, and sugar, the chicken is boiled in buffalo milk for two hours and then cooked on a sugar sprinkled tray, thus creating a delicious caramelized flavor.
The top of the cauldron is also covered with sugar.
Kadayif, of course, has an important place among traditional Ottoman desserts. There are 3 types: shredded wheat in syrup (tel kadayif), small pancakes in thick syrup (yassı kadayif), and crumpets in thick syrup (ekmek kadayif). The way of making each kadayif dessert is different from each other.
After the inner ingredients of the tel kadayif are prepared, it is cooked so that the top and bottom are fried, and sweetened cold syrup is poured over it.
Yassı kadayif, one of the other types of kadayif, uses dough prepared with eggs. Ekmek kadayıf has a paste similar to bread paste and therefore it is called ekmek kadayıf.
5- Sutlu Nuriye
Again, we are faced with one of the most attractive Ottoman desserts with its name. Sutlu Nuriye dessert with milk is a baklava type of pastry and has a special recipe containing milk. So why is there milk?
When the prices of baklava were high for some segments of the population, Sütlü Nuriye became a dessert preferred by these segments. An alternative Ottoman dessert was made by using hazelnuts instead of pistachios and milk instead of sugary sherbet.
It is highly appreciated that this clever dessert recipe has come to this day. The answer to the question of where the name Sütlü Nuriye comes from is not known clearly.
In modern Turkey, which was established after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, these delicious desserts continue to be cooked and served in abundance.