Mersin, a city in southern Turkey which has been the center of civilizations for thousands of years, offers a variety of tastes and stands out with its rich cuisine.
Since Mersin is close to Turkey's southeastern provinces, there is an established kebab tradition and thanks to its Mediterranean climate, it is also possible to find light Mediterranean meals, made with the best quality olive oil.
However, what makes Mersin, especially Tarsus, so special, are the desserts it has to offer.
Cezerye is a traditional sweet made from caramelized carrots, shredded coconut, and roasted walnuts, hazelnuts, or pistachios. While variations of the treat exist, which replaces the carrot with fig or date purée, the name is nonetheless derived from the word "cezer," which means "carrot" in Arabic.
If you want to enjoy this sweet paste in the comfort of your home, it is quite easy to do so. First you need five glasses of grated carrots, one-and-a-half glasses of sugar, some sweet biscuits, half a glass of crushed hazelnut, half a glass of crushed walnut, some vanilla and grated coconut.
Put the grated carrots on a saucepan and pour the sugar on it. Now caramelize the carrots with sugar until the carrots are drained.
Once the caramelization is done, take the saucepan off the stove and add the hazelnut, walnut and vanilla. Give the mixture a good stir.
Next, put it back on stove and cook it for a little while. When you are finished, let the mixture cool off.
Once it cools off, break the biscuits into small pieces, add them into the mixture and stir it well. Take some of the mixture and give it a round shape with your palms. Make some more of them and roll them in the grated coconut and they are ready.
It is time to enjoy your cezerye and share it with your loved ones. Bon appetite!