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Oh God.


Gasp. And I thought kaymak or clotted cream was the food of the gods...!


This is so incredibly interesting. I have to try koymak. I will be making it soon, I'm so excited!

Eurasian Sensation

Wonderful. I think reading your description of koymak is the clincher that ensures I go to Turkey one day.

..."their windows displaying mammoth wheels of emmenthal-like gravyer"

"Gravyer" is I believe actually derived from "gruyere", as with the Greek "graviera" cheese.


Oh wow, that sounds too good! I would love to try this kind of thing but have no idea when or if I'd ever come across it. *sign*


Ptipois: Ha! That's just about what I said with my first bite.

Ling -- I would still go with kaymak first. But this was great.

Magda - let us know how it goes.

Eurasian Sensation -- you're right, but the cheese is emmenthal-ish rather than gruyere-ish. Not really sure why.

Andrea, you can make a reasonable kaymak substitute by combining mascaropone with heavy whipping cream. (Yes, it's that rich). Kaymak's consistency goes from pourable to thick as cold mascarpone. For this recipe I'd go with a thick but pourable consistency.

thyme (sarah)

Wowsers. I am just trying to imagine what biting into that piece of bread with that köymak slathered on top. I really just can't imagine the richness of it. Love the photo of the milking of the cow...great angle! Always great stories. I love seeing Turkey through your blog. I'm still planning our trip to Istanbul! We're thinking March...

Lisa in Toronto

Sometimes I dream of that string cheese and Turkish breakfasts. Turkish Airlines meals include quite decent olives even in economy class. OK I was coming from olive-free countries so maybe they were not so great, but they were just what i needed.


The kasar in the first pic looks a lot like the chhana or cottage cheese made in Bengali housholds. It is alse the base of the famous Bengali sweet ---rasgulla...the chhanas at home are not as yellow though. Possibly because the milk here is low on fat


Hi Kalyan - that's not kasar at the top but cecil, a sort of string cheese. It's dry and salty. It's also placed in a hide and stored for winter ... it turns blue (and acquires a roquefort-ish flavor) in the process.
Indeed, the cows in this part of Turkey produce fairly high-fat milk.


I was in Kars last week and wonder if I ended up in the same village as you. We went there as my Turkish friends were looking for a mosque, so while they were praying, I wondered around the village and the locals served me some very refreshing Ayran. Home made of course.

Also tasted the cheese in Kars as I was told it was meant to be one of a kind. Really did not pick up any distinct taste from it though. Thought it to be quite bland.


Hi Natalie -- were in many villages in Kars as well as Ardahan and Artvin provinces, so hard to say.
Most cheese sellers in Kars hold the good stuff back unless you are quite insistent. I would suspect you were given young kasar to taste. It's very mild, like the mildest cheddar, and cheese sellers tell us it's preferred by women and children (and tourists). Unless you specifically asked for eski kasar ("old" kasar) they wouldn't have given it to you just to taste.
(BTW -- those same shops selling honey will never give you the really good stuff to taste or to buy unless you are really peristent. And right now last year's best would be long sold out.)
Just ate some of our eski kasar for lunch. It's slightly dry, sharp and tangy and nutty. Really good stuff. Definately not bland.
Thanks for reading.

a malaysian in chicago

Why do they hold the really good stuff back? Don't they want to do business? I'm a little concerned about that... In general, is there any way you'd recommend to figure out whether a food shop is holding something back that one might be interested in?

And I know you're famous already, but anyhow, great blog - love the intimate, unpretentious accounts of food and the people and places they come from.

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