The Sweet Taste of Katmer

Sweet taste of Katmer. When we ask our guests to name their favourite foods from their walks with us, one food pops up again and again… and again…. and again!  But it’s no wonder!

What is deliciously flaky…

… indescribably indulgent…

… and quintessentially Turkish?

Why – it’s katmer, of course!

Katmer is an ancient flaky pastry of Anatolia, traditionally eaten during breakfast; but rather appropriate with a cup of cay all day long, we think.

According to some sources, the history of katmer may date back to the 11th century. However, the earliest written reference to it comes from the late 14th century, during the Ottoman rule.

Katmer is essentially a flaky pastry, prepared much the same way as flatbread (yufka) or baklava. However, what makes this food different (and especially indulgent and delicious!) are the generous amounts of butter and oil used in the preparation of the pastry.

Katmer can be served either plain or filled, and sweet or savoury. As with many traditional Turkish foods, each region of the country tends to serve their own variations. For example, in Afyon in central Turkey, it is generally filled with poppy seed paste; but in Konya, only a few hundred kilometers away, it is more often filled with tahini (sesame seed paste) and served as a sweet topped wit pekmez (fruit molasses) or icing sugar.

Probably the best-loved version of katmer hails from the south-eastern Anatolian town of Gaziantep. Most famous for it’s baklava, Gaziantep also produces some of the tastiest katmer in Turkey. Gaziantep-style katmer is a sweet pastry, filled with both clotted cream and pistachios. It is this famous Gaziantep-style one, authentically cooked using traditional methods, that our guests eagerly devour on our culinary walks.

What better way to experience the true tastes of Turkey, than pondering the daily goings-on around you in the backstreets of Istanbul, with a plate of centuries-old dessert in your hands, while sipping on a glass of sweet Turkish tea?

The best places to eat Katmer in Istanbul:

  • Köşkeroğlu Baklava
  • Çanak Kebap
  • Hatay Ekol Künefe
  • Günaydın Kasap & Steakhouse
  • Çiya Sofrası