a post by Midtown Lunch that a friend alerted me to about gözleme being sold at the Bryant Park holiday shops, I was able to indulge in memories of my trip to Turkey several years ago. Food is a great lifeline to the past, to nostalgia because it stirs your senses — you're connected to the smells, the atmosphere, the people and the place. The taste of new experiences can be strong.
It was near the ruins of Ephesus where I first heard of and tasted these traditional Turkish treats. My traveling companion and I had made friends with a local at the hotel and he introduced us to the tented restaurants where we could find these gözleme. There, I saw women rolling out the dough and cooking the crepes. We removed our shoes, sat on the floor and tried not to burn our fingers holding the hot rolls with thin paper napkins. We drank Ayran, a salty yogurt drink. And for all of that we returned more than once during a short stay.
I had never before seen gözleme available here in New York, so it was a a pleasant surprise to find Mmm...Enfes! among the food options. The Ayran was also available, though I didn't order it. There were several different kinds of gözleme (along with several other Turkish options), but I went for the spinach and got it with hot sauce (which seemed to be a generous squirt of Tabasco). It was good, but I wished I had gone without the hot sauce; it seemed to disrupt the memory of when I'd last had them. And of course it wasn't quite the same, as there was no way to replicate the warm freshness while standing in the cold of December. But I hope the stand finds a following, enough to keep the memories alive. The stands are open through January 2.