We shared a tatlı between us as we walked along Fethiye harbour this afternoon so we’re having a rare post on the sweeter side of Turkish cuisine. We’re sure tatlı a different, more official name but when they’re being sold from the little carts, they’re just described as tatlı (sweet).
If ever there was an understatement in the Turkish language, this was it.
The photo underneath is of lokma. Look ‘lokma’ up in the dictionary and it will tell you that lokma means ‘morsel’ or ‘small, round, syrupy fried cake.’ Yep, that’ll be the little tub of sweety goodness in the photo then. We’ve put them in the same post because we think they’re exactly the same thing but in a different shape (like when pasta or some Mexican dishes are exactly the same but they come in different shapes and are given different names).
They’re basically doughnuts but instead of being dipped in sugar, they’re deep-fried and then syrup is added. There’s an ever so slight crunch to them too.
It doesn’t matter what shape these things come in, they’re still going to make your teeth tingle. They’re great. I haven’t got a sweet tooth at all – give me a tube of Pringles over a pack of biscuits or bar of chocolate any day – but lokma and tatlı are almost like a fun little challenge every now and then, just to see if you can do it – especially if you’re feeling in need of a bit of an instant sugar rush. You’ll be buzzing from these, let me tell you.
The long thin one – tatlı – you normally see being sold from the little carts with a glass cover over them and they’re around 75 kuruş (next to nothing in English money) each. They’re syrupy, but not too syrupy, with a bit of crunch. There’s a guy with a little cart as you walk from Fethiye harbour to the Tuesday market. He sells tatlı and candy floss. You can’t miss him and he might be good for the tatlı beginners because the tatlı isn’t overly tatlı – if you get what we mean.
But the lokma are the most fun. There’s a little place on the side street opposite Fethiye fish market, near Ramadan Bazaar, and they specialise in pastries and lokma. They have a fryer outside and you can watch the owner make the lokma. It’s always busy. Very occasionally we get the urge to buy a tub between us. You get the portion shown in the photo and a couple of cocktail sticks…and then Barry takes the lion’s share. Good effort if you can eat a whole tub to yourself.
Here’s the tip: Don’t mess about with them. You’ve got to get straight in there and eat a whole one all at once. Don’t just take a tentative bite as a little sample…unless you want to walk round for the rest of the day with syrup dribbled all down your clothes, that is. We’re speaking from experience!