On a nice sunny morning we hopped on a ferry and began our trip to Büyükada. The sea is calm, a little breeze, seagulls literally crying…and hungry stomachs. By the time we finished our coffee in the travel mugs finished we approached Büyükada. It was about time for breakfast, so we hopped out!
We almost ran to Büyükada Pastanesi. The small baker & patisserie was located in çarşı, between the other small shops. Like everyone else we were greeted with pleasant faces and the sweet smell surrounded us. Hard to choose, bought a bag of sakızlı kurabiye (cookies with mastic), börekitas – the puff pastry poğaça- with eggplant puree, another with cheese. While munching on our breakfast, found ourselves thinking what to buy next, walking through the houses of Büyükada, with the clanging sounds of fayton, the horse carriages, locals of the island still walking sleepily.
On our next but not last visit to Büyükada Pastanesi we found time for a chat with Hüseyin Karayaprak and his lovely wife Nevruz. Hüseyin Bey who learned his baking skills from the owner of the shop and has been taking care of the shop for a long time alone with her lovely wife. They are both very passionate about this small fırın, serving their customers and believe me you got impressed by that, even in that small amount of time you spent there, watching them dealing with their loyal customers and the newcomers. Everyone gets royal treatment here along with their goodies.
We bought a cheerful package full of mini ay çöreği, promised to stop again. Ay çöreği is a sweet pastry, shaped like a new moon, a chubby new moon it is, like croissant. It has a layer of yeast dough wrapping the stuffing which is made of leftover cake pieces or dry bread, dry fruit and nuts. We have been told when we were kids, that the leftover stale cocoa cakes gave that distinctive taste. Ayçöreği took me away, to my high school days, in our dark navy uniforms, sneaking to the nearest patisserie for smokes, drinking tea, munching on poğaça and ayçöreği, while the others study…
The other day before the ferry home Büyükada Pasatnesi was our last stop. A box full of their well known sakızlı lokumlu kurabiye -cookies literally tucked with mastic flavored Turkish Delight- and kalçunya –egg-less, chewy cookies filled with fried fruits-, another bag of that thin, crunchy, light as feather and yummy sakızlı kurabiye, my eyes rolling on the bags of cookies with rakı, cloves, lemon, orange, ginger…
Promised to be back again, fare-welled by Hüseyin Bey and Nevruz Hanım, left the small shop with a smile on my face.
Address: Recep Koç caddesi, No:42, Büyükada
Phone: (216) 382 4303