Here is what happens when you have to rely on your imagination rather than on your language skills. I was sitting happily in a public tea garden in the mountain town of Amasya located in Turkey’s Black Sea region. Several small restaurants and stalls lined the edges of the garden and as I was feeling a bit peckish, I took a look at what was on offer. To my delight, I discovered a stall which sold gözleme, made on the premises by a nice lady squatting before a big, round wooden table with a rolling pin in her hand, flattening the dough. Gözleme is paper thin puff pastry which is filled with either sweet or savory stuff, baked, folded over and cut in squares. It has to be said, that Amasya is totally off the beaten tourist path which means, nothing but Turkish is spoken and you won’t find any menus in another language either.
Ok, I know what gözleme is, no problem, but where the difficulty arose was to identify the filling. Only three varieties were available: one clearly potato, the next honey and nuts and then there was: “hash-hash.” Now, what might that be? All I could think of was either some kind of minced meat or…God forbid, hashish? On the other hand, this was a public place, the menu in full view, police officers drinking tea on the next table, so it couldn’t be anything illegal, could it?
What does the seasoned traveler do? He tries it. So did I. It was indeed puff pastry filled to the brim with poppy seeds. I didn’t get any funny feelings from consuming the lot, but I have to say, it was very, very filling. I didn’t have to eat anything else all day. Now you know what to expect when you see gözleme hash-hash anywhere on your Turkey trips.
Inka is German and used to be an international attorney with offices in London and Spain. Retired two years ago because I wanted to be a traveler and writer and now live between Didim/Turkey and Miami with plenty of travel in between. Next destinations: Istanbul, New York and Petra/Jordan.