Antep is justifiably famous for its Bakırcılar Çarşısı (copper bazaar), where craftsmen pound single sheets into platters, vessels and pans. But I was more interested in the adjacent Elmacı Pazarı (Apple Bazaar), a pair of indoor buildings and the shops around them where spices, nuts, dried fruits, grape molases and beans are sold. Ironically, not a single apple was for sale.
The place is dense with alluring shops and my friend Tuba, a frequent visitor and local celebrity known for her photography, gave us a list of the best places to shop.
We started at Yemen Kuru Kahve ve Baharat, a narrow shop know for its coffee and spices. It was established in 1963 and has been selling Antep’s best cumin, dried pepper, black pepper corns, and sumac ever since.
The coffee is ground by hand with a black stone mortar and wooden pestle.
Sumac is sold ground or as flower buds.
Nearby, Petek Bakkaliye sells gorgeous beans and lentils, as well as the bright green local pistachios, both raw and roasted.
Their piquant and smokey pepper paste is the best in town.
The world famous Güllüoglu baklava empire has many outlets these days. I visited the Elmacı Pazarı branch, which serves a ridiculous number of baklava and kadayif sweets. Following Tuba’s advice, I tried the burma kadiyif, threads of pastry wrapped around ground pistacchios and soaked in sugar syrup. Amazing.