Bozyazı Kavutu is a specific type of halva (helva, correct) produced in the Mediterranean region of Turkey, especially around Bozyazı(Mersin Mut Variety).
It is made from carob, peanuts, akdarı white corn local brown sesame seeds. It is traditionally produced in September, when carob pods are harvested, and consumed all year round. Raw ingredients are crushed together in a large mortar with a wooden pestle. Traditionally this process was done in a specific rock called ay taşı (moon rock) which was hollowed to grind and crush together these ingredients. The end product is a finely condensed paste, light brown in colour, cut into small rectangular portions. The texture is powdery and greasy upon chewing and the taste is mostly of carob.
It’s usually eaten by placing the squares inside yufka ekmek (a Turkish brwad similar to the Indian and Persian tandoori bread). Bozyazı Kavutu is unique to two nomadic tribes Sarıkeçili and Karakeçili who prepare this filling and energizing processed food as a ritual before embarking in long journeys. Nomadic tribes are shrinking throughout Anatolia, and their food heritage is generally under threat.
Products such as Bozyazı Kavutu no longer have the significance it once did. Today, an association named Doküder is trying to revive this ancient tradition, and produces these halva’s quantities also for public consumption. Yet much remains to be done to preserve this product and the vast heritage of the indigenous nomadic people of this land.