For the second installment of my Turkish Food Log, I’m exploring the world of cheeses, and finding a connection back home.
Beautiful range of cave dwellings in Cappadocia, Turkey. (I think this is in Pigeon’s Valley)
While we were in Turkey, we got to try many different kinds of cheeses – generally in styles a little different than “the usual” selection in Canada. In general, the cheeses tended to be saltier, with textures that varied from stretchy (like a Mozzarella) to soft and crumbly (like a soft Feta). There were even some cheeses that tasted a little bit bluey, like Gorgonzola.
Pretty Cheesy – but not quite what I meant. (photo taken in Cappadocia, Turkey)
Various Turkish Cheeses (photo taken in Ankara, Turkey)
Breakfast was the best time to find a great assortment of cheeses, and the selection varied from place to place. Each location offered a variety of cheeses, and I was excited to try them all. Most of the time, they weren’t labelled – so I have no idea what kinds I tried for most of the trip. Luckily, there were signs at the buffet in Ankara, so I made sure to get some pics. Notice the English translation – mostly “Cow Cheese” and “Sheep Cheese”, whereas the Turkish offered the real names of the cheeses, so I was able to look some up when I got home.
My breakfast in Cappadocia – fun cheeses, halva, olives, honey, muesli and yogurt. Soo good!
One of my favourite cheeses was Çeçil Peyniri – a very stringy, salty cheese that was dry on the outside. This was a strong and different cheese, and I ate as much of it as I could. At the time, I wrote that it tasted a little bit like Parmesan. We didn’t see it everywhere — I think I mostly ate it in the last half of the trip, in Cappodocia and Ankara.
Çeçil peyniri (photo taken in Ankara, Turkey)
On my trip to Akram’s last week, I found that they carried lots of different Middle Eastern style cheeses, including one that reminded me of the Çeçil peyniri.
Tressé is a cheese made in the same style as an Armenian cheese, called Mshallaleh. It is also sometimes referred to as “Angel Hair Cheese”. It’s like a very salty and stringy Mozzarella, and the one I bought was spiked with Kalonji (Nigella) seeds. The Kalonji have an almost oniony taste to them, so it’s pretty interesting in the cheese.
It may not be a Turkish cheese, but it definitely has the spirit, and the taste reminded me of my trip. Yet another reminder that there’s so much food out there for me to explore…
I definitely need to go back to Akram’s to get more, and to try some of the other fun cheeses there.