GAZIANTEP, Turkey - The writers, Nana Darioti, Thalia Tsichlakis and Fotis Vallatos, visited the province as special guests of Gaziantep Mayor Fatma Sahin. Gaziantep is officially registered in UNESCO "Creative Cities Network" for its culinary and cultural treasures. Gaziantep baklava is the first Turkish product registered in the EU Commission list of protected designations.
Baklava is a rich, sweet pastry featured in many cuisines of the former Ottoman countries. It is made of layers of filo dough filled with chopped walnuts or pistachios and sweetened with syrup or honey. The writers observed baklava makers, and also attended the making of the dessert, trying to shape baklava dough. They said they had a pleasant time during the visit and they would strongly suggest Gaziantep and Turkish baklava to Greek people when they return to their countries.
"Making baklava in Gaziantep looks like art," said Fotis Vallatos, the editor of Blue Magazine in Greece, and added: "Watching baklava production is like watching a theatrical performance". Thalia Tsichlakis, the editor-in-chief of Food and Leisure Guide, said that Gaziantep baklava is the most beautiful dessert that she has ever tasted.
"Gaziantep's baklava is really delicious. I will come back to eat it again. We also make baklava in Greece, but I envied Gaziantep's baklava," said Nana Darioti, the editor-in-chief of Olive Magazine. Aynur Tattersall, a founding member of Global Journalists Council, also talked to Anadolu Agency about the visit.
The writers visited Gaziantep because they know that baklava belongs to Turkey, and here baklava is made with methods special to Gaziantep, she said.
Writing by Fahri Aksut