Gaziantep: Capital of Baklava

In October last year I went to Gaziantep, on the ancient Silk Road in south-eastern Turkey, to write about that sweet pastry beloved throughout the Middle East: baklava. Gaziantep is famed for its cuisine, and its baklava above all. There are some 500 baklava producers in the city – some of who have been established since the 1870s – and I met a few of them to find out why Gaziantep’s baklava is considered the best in the world. Follow the blue link above to read my story.

Some of Gaziantep's famed baklava makers. © Gail Simmons

Some of Gaziantep’s famed baklava makers.         © Gail Simmons

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Cous Cous Crossroads (Saudi Aramco World)

My latest story, in the Jan/Feb edition of Saudi Aramco World, on the Arab influence on Sicilian food. Photographed by Tor Eigeland.

Making cous cous © Tor Eigeland

“The word couscous derives from the Maghrebi Arabic kuskusu, and the Sicilian cuscus has long existed in both folk memory and the kitchens of Sicily’s western Arab heartland. It is via the Maghreb, however, that couscous is flourishing again in Sicily, reintroduced by migrants from North and West Africa who have settled on the island during the last few decades. Sicilians have enthusiastically revived the dish, cooking it more often with fish than with meat (usually mutton), which would be more usual in the Maghreb.”

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