Gözleme – Eating traditional Turkish food

| August 24, 2012 | 45 Comments

Traditional Turkish food. It makes me salivate just thinking about it. Turkish delight, Kebabs (not the greasy fat dripping kebabs at 3am that are half squished into your pillow the next morning after a heavy drinking session kebab) and Gözleme.

Oh Gözleme how I miss you.

Gözleme traditional Turkish Food

Crunching through your thin pastry outer shell to discover the savoury inner goodness. Who would have thought something so simple would equate to such a taste explosion.

Cue mouthgasm.

What are Gözleme

The name, Gözleme, derives from the Turkish word göz meaning eye. And when you cook the pastry tiny brown spots dot the outer layer apparently resembling eyes. Or so we were led to believe.

To cook them traditionally takes quite a lot of skill, and while my cooking abilities with a rolling pin are half decent, I don’t think I could master this pastry rolling out process.

Gözleme traditional Turkish Food

While at the local markets in Fethiye we sat down for an afternoon snack at the Gözleme stall. There is something hypnotic about watching the older Turkish women work away like mad over the large circular cooking stone. They had it down to a fine art.

When the fresh ball of pastry is rolled out to resemble a crepe or pancake, it is thrown over the baking hot girdle. Handfuls of spinach and feta, or mince and potatoes or even sweet nutella are then spread across half the Gözleme.

Folding the sides up to cover the delicious fillings the pastry is flipped over to cook evenly.

Gözleme traditional Turkish Food

By the end you have a super cheap mouth-watering snack that oozes the sweet and savoury mix inside. Absolutely divine.

Plus you can just pick it up with your hands and devour it.

Since Gözleme has become so popular with tourists they are no longer just a local market delicacy. We even saw them in most of the restaurants in Istanbul. Although for about five times the price.

No matter where you are in Turkey, Gözleme are a must try for anyone wanting to experience traditional Turkish food. And bring one back me!

Have you been to Turkey? What’s your favourite traditional Turkish food?

About the Author ()

Cole is one half of New Zealand's leading adventure travel blogging couple who have been wearing out their jandals around the world since 2009. He loves any adventure activities and anything to do with the water whether it is Surfing, Diving, Swimming, Snorkeling or just lounging nearby on the beach. You can follow Cole on Google+. Or consider following us via RSS Feed, Twitter, Facebook and subscribe to our Newsletter.

Comments (45)

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  1. Laurence says:

    I haven’t been to Turkey, but I’m yet to see a post that paints a bad picture, so it’s on the list to visit! Also, great use of the term mouthgasm. Must make the effort to integrate that into a future post ;)
    Laurence recently posted..Frittering my life away: a classic French BBQMy Profile

  2. Absolutely can not wait for Turkey, though at this point can’t speculate as to when we will finally get there. This food looks amazing – spinach and feta and the nutella – on of each please!
    Jess | GlobetrotterGirls recently posted..Polaroid of the week: The beauty of the CaribbeanMy Profile

  3. ehalvey says:

    Drooooool. I never saw Gozleme in Istanbul or at any of the Turkish restaurants around here, but I.want.one.now.

    It looks like lahmacun and a crepe had a love child.
    ehalvey recently posted..#FriFotos: Putting a Face to ItMy Profile

  4. Guys

    make your own and you wont need to go to Turkey. Check out recipes for a huge variety.

    Bon Apetit!

  5. Sometimes I think we travel around the world lead by our stomachs. Not that there’s anything wrong with that….

    Can’t spell it. Can’t pronounce it. But this Turkish stuff looks delightful!
    Karen @ Trans-Americas Journey recently posted..Cruising into a Town Worth Your Time – Metapán, El SalvadorMy Profile

  6. I actually first tried gozleme in a restaurant in Goreme, Cappadocia! I never saw them selling them in Fethiye, which is a shame as the local market experience looks pretty cool. You’re right about Turkish food being divine – I think my favourite was the Ayvalik toast, a toasted sandwich filled with tomato, sausage, lettuce, pickle, fries (!) and then slathered with sauce. Mmmmm….
    Tom @ Waegook Tom recently posted..Six Unmissable Korean MoviesMy Profile

    • The markets were quite hard to find. We need to go back to Turkey just to visit Cappadocia as we ran out of time on our last trip. And to get ourselves some Ayvalik toast! YUM.

  7. Hayley says:

    I agree with Laurence – show me a bad review or even a bad photo of Turkey! Your photos are brilliant by the way, make my mouth water :) Turkey is definitely high on my list of places to visit!
    Hayley recently posted..Chiang Rai: What a RideMy Profile

  8. Turtle says:

    Yum! I’m in Turkey at the moment and you’re right about the food – so good! I’m going to have a gozleme tomorrow, in your honour! :)
    Turtle recently posted..The empire that launched a thousand shipsMy Profile

  9. Never been to Turkey but hope to go one day. I’ve eaten Greek food and I think there are some similarities. The Gozleme looks delicious. Definitely a food I would enjoy trying!
    Jeremy Branham recently posted..Announcing the first stop on the 2012 College Football Travel Tour with ExpediaMy Profile

  10. Arti says:

    This looks so much similar to the ‘Chilla’ that is so famous here in India!! I just love it, this is mouth watering. Its vegetarian na because Chilla is a vegetarian delicacy?
    Arti recently posted..An Interview With BlogAdda and A Food FeatureMy Profile

  11. oh yum! I shouldn’t be reading this post right before lunch. I’m going to wrap some spinach & feta in a whole wheat wrap and pretend……
    Mary @ Green Global Travel recently posted..Shooting Star: An Ode To My Daughter, On Her 11th BirthdayMy Profile

  12. So I may just steal the term “mouthgasm” and since you stole it, I figured it was OK:)
    D.J. – The World of Deej recently posted..California Route 1 – Big Sur to San FranciscoMy Profile

  13. Natalie says:

    Potato and spinach gozleme is the best!!
    Natalie recently posted..Sumela Monastery and the Black MadonnaMy Profile

  14. Angela says:

    I absolutely LOVE Turkish food, when I was in Shanghai I used to go very often to an excellent Turkish restaurant, it was like a fixed date :P
    Angela recently posted..A trip, a photo – Copacabana Beach in Rio de JaneiroMy Profile

  15. Darrin says:

    This entry captures the freshness of Turkish food that my wife and I enjoyed last year in Turkey. Do you find it hard to spare a moment to take pics of wonderful food like that when all you want to do is chow down? That’s my problem. :)

    I miss the lahmacuns, although I can find them here in NYC for about twice the price. Grilled barbuns (red mullets) are available in Astoria, Queens, but they don’t taste fresh the way they do in Turkey.
    Darrin recently posted..The Street Artists’ Revival of San Felipe, Panama CityMy Profile

  16. Ali says:

    I don’t think we tried this while we were in Turkey, but I sure did enjoy the food there! One of my favorite cuisines now that we’ve actually been to Turkey. It’s probably 90% of why I want to go back!
    Ali recently posted..Turkish Food – Beyond the Döner KebapMy Profile

  17. Yes. Yes, please. Now I want to go back to Turkey. We find plenty of really decent Turkish food here in Berlin (massive Turkish population) but the food in Turkey itself is even better. Hmm, just remembered that there is an excellent Turkish Gözleme food truck at the Mauerpark fleamarket. Might need to stop by tomorrow!
    Justin (Lotus Artichoke) recently posted..Tempeh Lettuce TomatoMy Profile

  18. cheryl says:

    Oh god! Looks so so so good. I haven’t been to Turkey as of yet but I really want to go, especially when I could eat food like this.
    cheryl recently posted..Cat On A Bike Sculpture In Brussels.My Profile

  19. I spent one night in Istanbul during a cruise, and the food was fantastic! But I couldn’t tell you the name of a single dish I ate :-)
    Stephanie – The Travel Chica recently posted..A Guide to Food and Drink in BoliviaMy Profile

  20. I’ll be back in Turkey in October, I’ll have to keep my eyes out for some gözleme while I’m there. thanks for the heads up.
    Gay Travel Herald recently posted..Picture perfect: Tokyo manholeMy Profile

  21. I love all things that resemble crepes and pancakes. I’ll be seeking out Gözleme in Riyadh.
    EarthDrifter recently posted..A Taste of EgyptMy Profile

  22. Alexandra says:

    Gozleme was my favorite food find in Turkey other than the BEST HUMMUS OF MY LIFE! Seriously, I know bold statement but it is true. It was in Gazientep from a cafe that had been making the stuff for hundreds of years with warm brown butter poured over it, toasted pine nuts and sumac! Oh I would love to have that plate of food in front of me again! Forget Cappadocia go back to Turkey for this plate of Hummus
    Alexandra recently posted..The adventure continues…My Profile

  23. its like a turkish quesadilla in all the right ways.
    amazing.
    Annie of TravelShus recently posted..Weekly Photo: November Nor’easter in BrooklynMy Profile

  24. Akif says:

    and i’m sure you’re gonna love it when ur visiting to dubai and rest :)

  25. I just got back from Istanbul and didn’t see these. I was hoping to stumble across an open market/food stalls but that didn’t happen. then again, the friends I was with were content to stick to the tourist track and check off a lot of sights from the list… not how I typically travel but still a good experience!

  26. Jennifer says:

    We’ve only been to Turkey on a long layover in Istanbul. We had enough time to go to the Blue Mosque, Grand Bazaar, and wander around for some lunch. It was amazing. Definitely need to get back to Turkey for a proper visit.
    Jennifer recently posted..Tips for Using the Moscow MetroMy Profile

  27. My family and I spent five months in Turkey last year, and this post is bringing back memories! Besides gözleme, our favorite foods were iskandar and ripe figs. Lovely photos…sharing on Pinterest. :-)
    Renee – RambleCrunch recently posted..Cost of Living at Lake Chapala, MexicoMy Profile

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