There remains much for me to discover in Develi, but a few days spent in early October 2016 turned out to be something I can talk about forever. In this blog I will share with you some gastronomic experiences. Develi is famous for is “cıvıklı”, probably an ancestor of the italian pizza, which in addition to many fillings comes in sweet versions as well. I spent nearly an hour in one of the 200 “cıvıklı bakeries” Develi is home to. Considering the size of Develi, nearly every street features a commercial furnace where people take the filling which they prepare at home, to be set professionally on a hand rolled dough and baked to a delight.
The bakery I visited has roughly two areas. The back area is where the flour is let to rise and then carefully scooped out of a large basin to be individually weighed for each pide. Cıvıklı refers specifically to a meat pide, traditionally made of knife-minced meat, onions and green peppers, with a touch of tail fat (of lamb) for extra taste and smell. It is sometimes topped with and egg. Nowadays tomatoes are added I am told by the baker. Then come a variety of mixed ingredients people bring to the bakery. I saw a potato version with parsley and onions, topped with egg. The general concept is that the filling is always prepared at home to each family’s taste. That is not to say that the bakery would refuse to prepare the filling but ingredients must be taken to the bakery.
In the front part of the bakery there is the oven. Fired with wood, a large palette goes in and out while the bakers roll out the dough and fill the pides. Two men worked side by side in this bakery, one involved in the cıvıklı “salty” kinds while the other prepared the awesome tahini pide I will let the video speak for itself. I love all about the tahini kind which is mostly made in winters, like the walnut pide, a very thin boat-shaped pide filled with walnuts, butter and sugar. But here is the tahini pide, a feast to the stomach as it is to the eyes:
A quick stroll at the local market was cut short by some business I was called to take care of, but I must say that this is where I saw the biggest apple of my life (some 750 grams) as well as the largest cabbage.
Develi marks the Turkish gastronomic scene with its “sucuk”, a spiced sausage similar to pepperoni whose main ingredient is garlic, cumin and a local green pepper. While strolling on the streets I came across several ladies peeling about 5 kilograms of garlic outside their house, in a communal chit-chatty gathering. Around the corner two ladies were washing up a huge stone mortar where they had grinded several kilos of garlic and were washing up hands, tools and the mortar. The preparation of garlic takes place outside, for a good reason! When it is about 5 kilos, it is quite powerful of a smell. Anyway, the tool used to puree the garlic is also huge, I loved this!
Then the “çemen”, as this mix is called is taken to the local butcher to be combined with the meat of choice and filled into the thin membrane which will become its shield as the sausage dries. A visit to Selim Bey’s shop, reveals more then the art of sucuk making a little later. Filled with antiques, old copperware, clocks, radios and images of old Develi, I thought that living is an art in Develi taught by garlic peeling ladies as well as Selim Bey and his gusto in his tiny shop.