Turkish Delight from Antep / Gaziantep

‘Antep Baklavasi’ or ‘Gaziantep Baklavasi’ is a sweet pastry made of layers of filo pastry filled with semolina cream and Antep pistachio, and sweetened with syrup. The production area covers the whole of the Turkish province of Gaziantep, in Southeast Anatolia, which is the centre of pistachio cultivation in Turkey.

One of its main ingredients is the Antep pistachio (Antep fıstığı), a registered agricultural product in Turkey that is dark green and has a dense aroma. In production it is also used in plain butter (99.9% pure butter made from milk and free of salt and any other additives), semolina cream (only in the fresh product), flour made from durum wheat, wheat starch, syrup (made with sugar or sweetener), eggs and salt. There are two commercial types of this product: dry or fresh. The difference between these types  is that the dry version is not included in semolina cream.

Its aroma comes from the Antep pistachio (Antep fıstığı) and the plain butter. It is golden yellow in colour while the lower part is dark green. The upper part is semi-crunchy because of the pastry layers, while the lower part is syrupy. The product should be cut in pieces of various shapes before baking, but each piece should be equal in size: short rectangular shapes, shuttle (diamond), amulet (triangular) or square shapes, or carrot-like shapes (long triangular slices from the centre to the edges of a circular tray).

The production method requires great skill

The craftsmen are required to have great skill when making baklava. They must prepare the baklava dough, roll and thin it out, sprinkle starch between layers, place the layers on the tray, spread on the cream and Antep pistachio, cut the baklava into equal slices, oil it with plain butter, bake and add syrup require.

Before eating it, the pure butter smell predominates. A well-prepared baklava immediately melts in the mouth. These are the most important specific characteristics of ‘Antep Baklavasi’/‘Gaziantep Baklavasi’. The main difference when comparing this baklava to others lies in the taste and aroma of Antep pistachios and plain butter.

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