Kaymak (Cyrillic: Кајмак or Vrhnja/Врхњe), kaymak, kajmak, kaimak, keimach, qeymağ, geymar, or gaimar is a Turkish creamy dairy product, similar to clotted cream. It is made from the milk of water buffalos or of cows.
The traditional method of making kaymak is to boil the milk slowly, then simmer it for two hours over a very low heat. After the heat source is shut off, the cream is skimmed and left to chill (and mildly ferment) for several hours or days. Kaymak has a high percentage of milk fat, typically about 60%. It has a thick, creamy consistency (not entirely compact due to milk protein fibers) and a rich taste.
The word kaymak has Central Asian origins, possibly formed from the verb kayl-mak, which means melt and molding of metal in Mongolian. The first written records of the word kaymak is in the well-known book of Mahmud al-Kashgari, Kutadgu Bilig. The word remains as kaylgmak in Mongolian, and with small variations in Turkic languages as qaymaq in Azerbaijani, qaymoq in Uzbek, каймак in Kyrgyz, kaymak in Turkmen. However in these languages noun form of the word is not reserved for the produced end product, but it refers to the clot of any milk formed after boiling.
Shops in Turkey have been devoted to kaymak production and consumption for centuries, as evidenced by the origins of the word are actually Turkish. Kaymak is mainly consumed today for breakfast along with the traditional Turkish breakfast. One of the better types of kaymak is still to be found in the Afyonkarahisar region where the water buffalo are fed from the residue of poppy seeds pressed for oil. Kaymak can also describe the creamy foam in the traditional "black" Turkish coffee. Kaymak is traditionally eaten with pastries, preserves or honey or as a filling in pancakes.
Known as kajmak, it is almost always produced in the traditional way, in private households, and can be bought only in open markets rather than in stores or supermarkets; commercial production is low and not of such a good quality. The best varieties come from mountain cattle farms. Kajmak can also be matured in dried animal skin sacks, and this variation is called skorup.
It is usually enjoyed as an appetizer, but also as a condiment. The simplest recipe is lepinja sa kajmakom (pita bread filled with kaymak) consumed for breakfast or as fast food. Bosnians, Serbs, and Macedonians consider it a national meal. Other traditional dishes with kajmak include pljeskavica sa kajmakom (the Balkan version of a hamburger patty topped with melted kaymak), as well as ribić u kajmaku (beef leg meat, simmered with kaymak). It is a common accompaniment to barbecued meat.
The Middle East 
Kaymak or qymaq in Afghanistan is used as an accompaniment to flatbread, naan, or for the tea drinking on special occasions, qymak chai which is green tea with baking soda, milk and kajmak as a topping. In Iran, the words qhaymaqh and Sarshir are both used to name this type of cream. In Iraq, it is called Gaimar or Qaimar and is sometimes served for breakfast with fresh bread, honey or jam and hot tea. Two sources to buy Gaimar in Iraq, factory produced or local vendors (farmers) who are commonly named Arab, Arbans or Maadaan and thus its referred to as Gaimar Arab or Gaimar Maadan as of farmers Gaimar.
See also 
- Nikola Vrzić (December 28, 2000). "Sve srpske kašike" (Windows-1250). NIN (in Serbian). Retrieved 13 June 2012.
- The Poppy Growers of İsmailköy (2002)
- Davidson, Alan. Oxford Companion to Food (1999). "Kaymak", pp. 428–429. ISBN 0-19-211579-0