The Famous Taste of Balıkesir: Höşmerim Dessert

Höşmerim Dessert is a milky dessert that has gained a great place in the food culture of Balıkesir province and has been registered with a geographical indication. Höşmerim, which is loved by local and foreign tourists, has become an indispensable dessert that those who pass through Balıkesir can not go without eating. This famous dessert, the awareness of which is spreading to Turkey day by day, has caused the question of ‘What is Höşmerim?’ to increase in the minds of those who hear it for the first time. 

What is Höşmerim?

Höşmerim is a milk dessert unique to Balıkesir province, whose basic ingredients are unsalted fresh cheese, semolina, egg, sugar, and flour. This dessert, made in the Marmara, Aegean, and Central Anatolia regions, is mainly produced in Balıkesir.

The Historical Journey of Höşmerim

There are different stories about when the Höşmerim dessert first appeared. In some sources, the appearance of the dessert is based on the Turkmen nomads who settled in Balıkesir, while in another story, a woman who made a dessert for her husband who returned from the military said, “Is it nice, my man (my soldier)?" it is argued that he appeared with his words.

The story known and accepted by the majority about the first making of the dessert is told as follows: A woman who wants to make a dessert with the limited ingredients at home for her husband, who returned from the military after the War of Independence, gives her husband the dessert she made with cheese, semolina, flour and sugar she found at home. The woman, asking her partner who ate the dessert if it was beautiful, asks “is it nice, my man?" which is in Turkish "hoş mu erim?". The original name of the dessert comes from here, but this question has changed over time, turning into a höşmerim, and now it takes the name of the famous dessert, which is on everyone's tongue with its taste.

Although it is not as well known as the first story, the second narrative, which says that the appearance of the höşmerim dessert dates back to older times, is included in Evliya Çelebi's Travelogue. Accordingly, the dessert was first made by Turkmen nomads who settled in Balıkesir. The name of the dessert came about by combining the words hoş, which means sweet in Turkish, and Maram, which means Turkish cream.

Although there is no consensus on which story is true in the story of the appearance of Höşmerim, the taste of dessert is unquestionably approved by everyone. This growing interest in höşmerim has increased curiosity about how the dessert is made and what the höşmerim recipe is.

Höşmerim Recipe

As with any dessert, the taste of höşmerim comes from the local delicacies used. According to the recipe taken from the locals of Balıkesir, the ingredients of Höşmerim consist of unsalted fresh cheese, egg yolk, semolina, flour, granulated sugar, and baking powder. According to the traditional höşmerim recipe, the exact measurements used in the dessert are as follows:

  •   1 kg of unsalted fresh cheese
  •   2 egg yolks
  •   250 g semolina
  •   100 g flour
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