Let’s talk about you and me, let’s talk about all the good things and the bad things that may be, let’s talk about Kunefe!
I was thinking we would talk about Kunefe. What is Kunefe you ask? Kunefe is a crazy ass desert served here in Mersin and throughout Turkey made of cooked cheese, syrup and icecream. “Wwhhaaattttt?” you cry.
Yes I know. Separately these three food items are sensational. Cheese? Legendary. Sugary syrup? Amazing. Icecream? Anytime.
But incorporated into one meal? Maybe not.
As you will no doubt recall I recently became a rock star, letting my hair down and singing at the top of my over endowed lungs at a karaoke bar in Pozcu, Mersin. After spending a few hours singing, dancing, drinking and generally embarrassing Daughter to the point that she wanted to disown me Prince William (previously known as Capt. Awesome) decided that we should finish the evening with some dessert. Dessert? By 2 am I was starting to lose my groove so the idea of dessert (and its subsequent sugar rush) perked me up considerably and I was ready to go and check out our next destination.
A couple of minutes drive through the back streets of Mersin brought us to an amazing little pastanesi (cake shop) just west of Carsi (near our new amazing dentist). Even though it was very late the place was packed but when we arrived it was clear that they knew Prince William (aka Capt Awesome) and a table magically appeared. There were no menus, there were no options. We sat and dessert was supplied – Kunefe.
Kunefe is well known throughout the provinces of Icel, Gazienterp, Hatay, Kilis and Adana although it is served in many Arabic countries. Downstairs you could watch them make the dessert and, honestly, it seemed like a lot of work. The pastry chef was very generous letting me behind the counter (obviously a friend of Prince William’s as well) and explaining to me in limited English the process. The process is long and drawn out and I will not bother explaining it – to be honest it was all a bit fuzzy. There was a lot of work involving tel kadayif (stringy filo pastry), a butt load of cheese, huge pans and the largest wood oven I have ever seen! If you do want to make an attempt of this amazing dessert I suggest you go check out Ozlem’s recipe. She is, as usual, my go-to person when attempting Turkish food but this one looks a little out of my league.
If you ever find yourself at 2 am needing a pick me up and a kebab just isn’t going to do it for you try and find a pastanesi who serves this amazing dish. Now that Kunefe has been brought to my attention I find that just about every pastanesi in Mersin serves it. It might be a little more difficult to track down on the west coast but it is definitely well worth the search. Your tastebuds will thank you for it.
Sounds and looks delish!
Although I’ve been going to Turkey for over 20 years it was only in December that I tasted Kunefe for the first time. It’s so yummy have had it several times since.😊
That’s what I’m saying. The Turks are hiding the best for themselves!
Merhaba Jane 🙂 thanks so much sharing my kunefe recipe, very kind of you and delighted to hear you enjoy the recipes : )- so lovely to find your blog too! Cok selamlar, Ozlem
Tessekuler Ozlem. You are the lady to go to for recipes! Cok guzel!
Kunefe messes with my mind. When I start thinking about the various component parts, I can’t eat it. WHO decided to combine cheese, sugar syrup and that weird vermicelli stuff on top? They must have been out of their MINDS. And yet… somehow, it works. I tried kunefe in Jordan and Lebanon recently, and it really has nothing on Turkish kunefe. It’s much more cake-like – so boring compared to the plate of insanity that makes kunefe so tantalising here…
. . the legendary Kunefe – with all due respect to beautiful Mersin, the best ever was in Antakya, in suffering Hatay (war, jihadis – Syria right next door) a few years back – it was mid-blowingly good!
Yes I believe that Antakya does make the best in the world (or Hatay if you listen to my sister in law).
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I have never tried it. Got a feeling it could be a bit of a taste sensation 🙂
It’s definitely somewhat of an acquired taste but after that first experience we have definitely gone back for more. It’s some crazy stuff
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