Kuru Kaymak

Milk and milk products - Turkey

Kuru kaymak (dried cream) is a winter product due to its high calorie content that is produced in very limited quantities in Turkey mainly in central eastern Anatolian cities such as Nevşehir, Erzurum, Sivas, Malatya and their provinces. These are areas with relatively harsh winter conditions. The traditional production process starts with boiling at least 50 kg of cow milk for long hours until it thickens to the desired consistency. After the milk is thickened and reduced down to just 5-6 kg due to evaporation of liquids, it is poured onto round copper trays called as peşgun in local dialect. Then copper trays are placed over live coals, and the milk is cooked until morning, checking the fire form time to time. Finally, a thick porous layer forms on top of the thickened milk, and this round layer called kuru kaymak (dried heavy cream) is collected with long wooden rolling pins. After it cools down, it is cut into slices like a cake and pressed into vitrified earthenware jugs. In order to preserve kuru kaymak until summertime, it is preserved with honey (one layer cream, one layer honey) and the top of the jug is sealed against air contact.   Kuru kaymak is a homemade product and produced for household consumption. Recently, since there is a growing trend for local and authentic products, some producers have started selling this product via their websites. However, generally speaking it is not easy to buy commercially. The production process is very time consuming and uses a large quantity of milk that yields a low quantity of finished product and requires. The production technique also requires some artisanal skills. In the past, woman in most of the villages in central eastern Anatolia used to make this kuru kaymak as part of their regular winter preparations, but today very few people keep this tradition. In terms of hygiene rules and procedures, none of the producers are authorized for commercial production, and therefore they cannot reach large markets. They sell their products via neighbors, friends and some online local product shops. In addition, animal breeding is declining in the area due to economic problems of breeders, limiting milk supply.