Posted in Kafevend Blog
Now we've talked about cream teas before, on more than one occasion. They are linked to the south west more than any other region and to Devon and Cornwall in particular. So strong is the link in our minds and so proprietorial do we feel over the wonderful treat of a cream tea, that it's easy to imagine the rest of the world is bereft of this delicacy. Not so!
Those who've holidayed in Turkey have doubtless encountered kaymak. Very much like clotted cream, it is made with the milk of water buffaloes, cows, goats or sheep. The milk of the domestic water buffalo or manda is high in fat and therefore ideal. Whereas we see clotted cream as a central component to a cream tea generally enjoyed in the afternoon, in Turkey it is a traditional breakfast food served with honey and white bread. It's also used in baklava, is a frequent accompaniment to desserts and can be added as a top layer to strong Turkish coffee.
Kaymak is made not only in Turkey but throughout the Near and Middle East and south eastern Europe, where it is variously used on bread, as a filling for pita bread, in pastries, pancakes and as an accompaniment to meat.
Although farmers in Devon and Cornwall originally made clotted cream as a way of cutting down on the waste from the milk production process, it has been suggested that its advent was actually a result of influence from Phoenician traders. Some two and a half thousand years ago these traders came to Cornwall looking for tin and are thought to have passed on the method for making kaymak/clotted cream. It's interesting to note that the Cornish cream tea used to be served, not with a scone, but with a Cornish split – a slightly sweet bread roll, which sounds reminiscent of the Turkish breakfast use.