The bland colour of the pastries didn’t stand out to me from the boiling vats of vibrant Sri Lankan curries or bright green veggie plates covering the Ethiopian stall, but the lovely Turkish cook handed me a piece of Gözleme and all other options went out the window.
I’ve tried the Spanish paella, the Tibetan momos, the Peruvian quinoa stew and the Japanese okonomiyaki and all was delicious so it was time for something different.
Last weekend, I brought a few friends to the East End to experience Brick Lane and Columbia Road on a Sunday afternoon. We shuffled through the crowded flower stalls listening to the Cockney vendors shouting their wares and then slowly made our way down Brick Lane (where we saw a photographer taking photos of the backs of people’s heads with a wide angle lens), in search of lunch.
The mingling scents of different types of food hit you as soon as you walk inside the main food hall. It’s overwhelming. But I know have a new favourite – the Turkish Gözleme from the friendly vendor who tossed an extra tomato over my shoulder into the little container as I walked away. He told it’s food to avoid bad eyes (göz means “eye”).
It’s made on thin pastry, with bits of tomato, mushroom, spinach, parsley, feta cheese and mince meat. And it’s delicious. The pastry is filled and folded and cooked on a hot griddle until it’s golden brown then cut up and stacked in four pieces (of which I could only manage to eat two…so share!)
The end – iPhone photo with suicidal tomato
We ate outside in the courtyard, in the sunshine, before heading off to one of my favourite places – 1001 – to wash it all down with some drinks!
Gözleme rock! Here’s a post I wrote about eating them in Dalston (which is a bit more of an obviously Turkish neighbourhood than Brick Lane, but London’s such a melting pot that no area is uni-ethnic!): http://mikanqueen.wordpress.com/2011/11/09/eastern-promise-–-a-taste-of-turkey-in-east-london/
Turkish Gözleme is one of my favorite street foods here in Istanbul or anywhere in Turkey for that matter! I prefer eating my spinach and cheese gözleme before or while shopping at my local pazar for this week’s fresh produce. Cheers from Istanbul!