Künefe is a traditional Turkish dessert. It is made from a special “noodle-like” dough called “tel kadayıf”, which is filled with cheese, soaked in sweet syrup, and sprinkled with ground pistachios.
The origin of künefe dates back to the Ottoman Empire, where it was a popular dessert among the upper classes. Today, everyone in Turkey enjoys it, and it is also available outside of Turkey. One of the things that sets Turkish künefe apart from other versions is the use of high-quality ingredients. The tel kadayıf used in Turkish künefe is made from the finest flour, and the cheese filling is often made from a combination of mozzarella, feta, and kashkaval. In addition, the highest quality syrup is used to sweeten the pastry, giving künefe its unique taste.
Künefe is served hot, with the cheese inside still liquid. Although the combination of cheese and sweet dough may sound strange, it is an excellent and popular dessert. Modern variations of künefe include chocolate or even ice cream in addition to the traditional filling.
I prefer to have künefe at the top Istanbul restaurant Gaziantep Közde Künefe Kebap Salonu. They prepare künefe fresh right in front of you on the grill. A great dessert generously sprinkled with pistachios here costs 30 lira, which is about 1.60 EUR.
Even if the combination of cheese and sweet sounds strange to you, try künefe. In my opinion, it is one of the best desserts of Turkish cuisine.
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