Turkish Food – Kunefe

One of the many kunefe cafes along the main shopping area in Sanliurfa.
One of the many kunefe cafes along the main shopping area in Sanliurfa.

Kunefe is a desert that is made from shredded yufka sandwiching, a stringy cheese such as kaşar, cooked in a pan over a flame, then served with a sugary water.

In Ankara there are plenty of restaurants that offer this delicacy, but other than it being heated up on a flame, I’ve never seen its preparation.  In Şanliurfa, we were walking down the street and saw this quaint, onion shaped ceilinged café that only serves kunefe. As we walked by, we watched as the man shredded the yufka and added the cheese.  We hadn’t had dinner yet, but I assured him we would be back to try it.

After a dinner of Urfa Kebab (a spicy meatball), we walked back and were ushered into the back corner of the restaurant, far away from curious eyes, behind a wooded partition- a place specifically for families with women present.  As it turned out, we were the only women in the café.

The waiter brought us each a large portion of warm, squishy kunefe.  It was by far the best I’d ever tasted.  The cheese was not as stringy and the whole thing was much more subtle in taste than anything in Ankara.  It was delicious!

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