Excursions to the Far East and Black Sea Coast Feature


Rediscovering Turkish Food in Gaziantep

Turks can be fiercely proud of the food in their region of the country, but even those from other places will easily admit that Gaziantep has perhaps Turkey's best food. Drawing on culinary influences from Turkish and Arab cooking, the earthy cuisine in Gaziantep is assertively spiced and flavorful. If you've grown tired of kebabs during your time in Turkey, be ready to rediscover them in Gaziantep, where kebab making is seen as both an art and a science. Among some of the best kinds of kebabs you can try here are sebzeli kebab (a skewer of lamb, tomato, green peppers, parsley, and garlic minced together) and Ali Nazik (cubes of grilled lamb taken off their skewer and served on a heavenly bed of smoky roasted eggplant and garlicky yogurt). Other specialties include mercimek koftesı (small ovals made out of red lentils mixed with bulgur wheat, fresh herbs, red pepper paste, and spices) and yuvalama (tiny dumplings made out of rice flour and ground meat, served in a yogurt broth).

Most of all, though, Gaziantep is famed for its flaky and buttery baklava, which incorporates with great success one of the area's leading crops, pistachios. It is, without a doubt, the preferred ending to any meal in Gaziantep.

Gaziantep is rightfully known as Turkey's baklava capital and there are several shops incorporating the tongue-twister family name "Güllüoğlu," all of which vie for the title of being the city's best maker of the flaky sweet. One of the best is Baklavacı Güllüoğlu.

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