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 😉

  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!

  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.

  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!

  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….

  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!

  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! 🙂

  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!

  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?

  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……

  12. So I may just steal the term “mouthgasm” and since you stole it, I figured it was OK:)

  13. Natalie says:

    Potato and spinach gozleme is the best!!

  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 😛

  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.

  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!

  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!

  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.

  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 🙂

  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.

  21. I love all things that resemble crepes and pancakes. I’ll be seeking out Gözleme in Riyadh.

  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

  23. its like a turkish quesadilla in all the right ways.
    amazing.

  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.

  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. 🙂

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