Last week, I was in Crimea to see all the major sightseeing spots in Yalta, Sevastopol, and Fyodosia. I also went to see the Crimean Bridge which just opened, linking the Crimean peninsula to the Russia mainland. On the way back, we stopped at a Tatar neighborhood store to try camca. Camca is a Crimean Tatar delicacy that is really popular among Crimean Tatars and also among the other people who live in Crimea.
The drive back from Kerch to Yalta took around four hours. Along the way, I got hungry. “What’s good to eat in Crimea?” I asked Mikhail, my official escort from the office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Crimea.
A CRIMEAN TATAR DELICACY
Without hesitating, he said: “How would you like to taste the food of the Crimean Tatars? There’s a snack they make which is called camca (pronounced “samsa”) and I myself like it very much.”
“Let’s try it!” I said. “But I have one condition. It should be the best we can possible find.”
A REAL CRIMEAN TATAR OVEN
Mikhail said: “To do that, we must look for a Tatar shop by the road with a real Tatar oven.” So we drove a few kilometers along the highway towards Yalta until we found a wooden shack with a few round tables and chairs.
Mikhail said: “I see the Tatar oven. Let’s go to this one.”
I got down from the car and walked over to see a cylindrical oven made of brick and mud, and fired with wood. When the man from the shop lifted the cover of the oven, I saw inside several round bread that resembled pies.
HOT TEA OR COLD TOMATO JUICE?
Mikhail and I each ordered a spicy camca and to drink we were recommended to have the camca with hot tea or cold tomato juice. I ordered the tomato juice.
What a delicious treat this turned out to be. These were piping hot. And when I bit into mine, juices and meat oozed out. To give it an extra kick, we put lots of onion sauce into it.
I’m now in Moscow, getting ready to return to Asia. But still I am dreaming about that camca I ate, on the day I crossed the Crimean Bridge and then drove back to Yalta, living a #Travelife.