Two words–vegan baklava–was all it took for this bakery to get my attention. I was heartbroken when I discovered that most desserts in Turkey are made with butter and egg, including my beloved baklava. I was in denial at first, followed by grief, but then Semotti’s Bakery came and life hasn’t been the same.
Semotti’s Bakery is primarily a gluten-free establishment. Their elaborately decorated cakes are covered with colorful icing and popular cartoon characters but have the unique quality of being gluten-free, dairy-free, and/or vegan. Similarly, their homemade walnut baklava looks and tastes like most other versions, except the homemade dough is a bit thicker and less crispy, perhaps because of the absent egg. Ground nuts are flavored with cinnamon and spread between layers of phyllo dough, then drenched in syrup that is refreshingly mild in sweetness. The baklava was more nourishing than decadent, while totally satisfying.
Including with my order of walnut baklava was a vegan sampler pack that included peanut butter, dried fruit, chickpea chips, and dried zucchini. The peanut butter was smooth and lightly sweetened with apple concentrate and vanilla. The dried fruit included thinly sliced oranges, pineapples, strawberries, peaches, apples, and plums. Our favorite, hands down, was the chickpea chips. They are an ideal snack for so many reasons. Made with chickpea and almond flour, they’re gluten-free and protein-rich. Instead of heavy-handed flavors, the chips are lightly seasoned with dried herbs, red pepper, and a touch of salt. We can’t wait until Moulay has enough teeth to chomp on them.
We saved the dried zucchini for last. Dehydrated vegetables are a new concept to us since arriving in Turkey. We’ve tried dried eggplants and green beans but haven’t quite gotten used to them. However, the dried zucchini was much better than we anticipated. Sliced thin and dried to a crisp, the chips are tasty and have their own natural sweetness without added sugar or salt. It’s every health-conscious parent’s dream to have their child snacking on Semotti’s treats.
When you visit the bakery, prepare to swoon from the smell of freshly baked granola, their top-selling product. All of their beautifully packaged snacks are available for sale, but custom orders and dine-in reservations for gluten-free or vegan meals are welcomed too. With a handcrafted menu from the owners who themselves have encountered gluten intolerance or have children with dairy allergies, rest assured that they are meticulous about their work. They have dedicated gluten-free and dairy-free kitchens and their products are rigorously tested for allergens on a routine basis. Remember the name Semotti, because their brand is quickly spreading and might be reaching your location soon.
*Our vegan snack pack was provided by Semotti’s, but all opinions are our own.*