Turkish desserts tend to be sweet and substantial and this one is no exception. Kemal Pasha dessert (kemalpaşa tatlısı in Turkish) is a speciality of Mustafakemalpaşa, a town in the province of Bursa in North-West Turkey.

The one in this photo is unusually big; normally a serving would consist of three smaller balls. Turkish friends say the best kemalpaşa tatlısı is still found in the town of Mustafakemalpaşa itself, made by a company called Güvenal.

The original version is made with fresh cheese – this part of Turkey is famous for dairy products. The dough is shaped into balls which are baked in the oven and then boiled in syrup. It’s usually served with a kind of thick cream called kaymak. Since I moved to Turkey, people often tell me I’m too skinny. Must be because I don’t eat enough of these!

According to Wikipedia, kemalpaşa tatlısı is a relative of the Pakistani dessert Gulab Jamun. What’s your opinion?

Read more:
There’s life outside Istanbul
Yogurt in Turkish cooking
Where to eat Pakistani food

About the author

Lucy is English and first ventured out of the UK she was 19. Since then she has lived in 4 different countries and tried to see as much of the world as possible. She loves learning languages, learning about different cultures and hearing different points of view.