Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Seems only fitting for my 300th blog post today that I write about something sweet.

During our recent trip to Mount Nemrut, we stayed overnight in Gaziantep – a foodie destination in southeast Turkey that should be on every traveler’s list.

My expat friend in Istanbul had told me about this special Gaziantep breakfast pastry that I MUST try. “You will love it! It’s my favorite,” exclaimed my friend, who also happens to have a Turkish boyfriend from Gaziantep.

In the morning, we walked from our hotel, heading to the winding streets near the Bakırcılar Çarşısı (Coppersmith’s Bazaar) in Gaziantep.

Trying to find this renowned katmerci proved to be challenging. We both had our phones out and even a paper map looking for this place. We turned down a pedestrian-only side street and just when we thought nothing was even open, we found Katmerci Zekeriya Usta on the right-hand side.

Several picnic tables decked out with red and white tablecloths lined the walkway in front of the katmerci. There is no menu. You order katmer and katmer only plus çay (Turkish tea) to drink. A man with a tray brings fresh çay around as fast as you can drink it.

Katmer is a like a sweetened version of my beloved gözleme. It’s a breakfast pastry made out from sheets of phyllo dough wrapped around kaymak (Turkish clotted cream) and studded with chopped local pistachios. For my American readers, picture a sweetened quesadilla…something along those lines.
A bundle of katmer love in Gaziantep!
And the katmer was superb!

It’s like someone took some of favorite Turkish ingredients and wrapped them in one perfect bundle just for me.

The hot pastry is flaky and sweet. I tried to pick out the pieces with the most kaymak in them while my husband preferred the crispier edges.
Hubby and me before we devoured the katmer.
We almost finished the whole katmer. I love sweets, but by the end I just couldn’t eat another bite. My husband doesn’t like sweets for breakfast so I ate part of his portion too.

Eating katmer with several locals on the street in Gaziantep was the ideal way to start our day. Thank goodness we walked off some of the calories later!

Katmerci Zekeriya Usta - Open only 6-11:00 am.
Address: Çukur mh. Körükçü Sok. B., Hilmi Geçidi No: 16/C-D, Gaziantep
Telephone: 0342-230-0971 or 0534 7607454

You can also read Katie Parla's blog post about Katmerci Zekeriya Usta and see step-by-step how it's made here.

Also recommended:
Address: Şehitkamil, Gazi Muhtar Paşa Bulv. 17, Gaziantep
Telephone: 0342-215-1500

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Julia said...

Congratulations on 300 blog posts. What a milestone. We had katmer for the first time over winter but we had it in Kayaköy and it was different to that. It must be regional. Ours was sweet but filled with tahin, too. All the same, still yummy. Will look out for this one when we eventually make it to Gaziantep. Congrats again!! :)

jaz@octoberfarm said...

oh wow...i am not much of a sweet eater but that looks fabulous!

Alan said...

:-D on the postings - brilliant! Katmer - yummy stuff - love it!

BacktoBodrum said...

A Big Bravo for your 300th post. I can feel my belt tightening just thinking about this breakfast.

Joy said...

@Julia, thanks! 300 posts in 2 years, not too bad, I reckon. ;-) Now tahin wouldn't be a bad thing to have wrapped up in yufka either - maybe drizzled in chocolate.

Joy said...

@Joyce, Alan and BacktoBodrum, thank you, and the katmer was really delish! And apparently there's some places in Istanbul that even serve it on the dessert menu. Yay!

Erica (Irene) said...

This sure looks delish...I've never had one before. Nice pic of you and your hubby. :-)

Joy said...

@Erica, definitely try the katmer someday! Thanks but we should've also got an after pic of our stuffed selves! ;-)

stephanie said...

Yum!! So happy you found it : )