Inspired by the chocolate museums in Europe, Gaziantep, Turkey's gastronomy capital, now has its own Baklava Museum.
The museum has been brought to life by Associate Professor Oğuzhan Saygılı, who was inspired by a chocolate museum in Germany.
Noting Gaziantep as a city that has earned its own place in gastronomy, Saygılı said: "This city has reached great heights in terms of gastronomy. When it comes to Gaziantep's desserts, baklava is the first thing that comes to the mind."
"I am an oculist. I studied in Germany. After I saw the chocolate museum there, I thought I Gaziantep deserved its own baklava museum. I decided to realize that dream after returning to Turkey."
For a long time, Saygılı looked for the perfect location for his museum project.
"After I decided it should be in a historical location, I started the procedures. The preparation process took three years. After a lot of efforts, we received the museum status two months ago. This Gaziantep specialty needs to be preserved. The number of chefs who spread dough by hand, without using a dough mixer, is decreasing every day. It wasn't easy for us to find our chef.
Here, we show all the processes involved in baklava preparation. Maybe, some chefs can be trained here, too."
Claiming that tourists visiting the museum are very much interested in baklava, Saygılı said: "There has been a serious increase in the number of visitors recently. The visitors can observe all the details of baklava preparation and ask questions to our chef."
"Actually, I could have opened this museum in a much shorter time. However, it took longer as I could manage little time while working. The visitors understand that baklava is an art when they see how long and detailed its preparation period takes," he said.
Visitors can follow the processes of baklava preparation six days a week at this workshop, which is located in the historical Millet Inn and they can also taste the desserts prepared there.
One of the visitors, Esra Kızmaz expressed that she witnessed the making of baklava for the first time at the museum.
"I didn't know that it had so many details to it. It takes a lot of effort. I will consume baklava with much more regard from now on," said Kızmaz.
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