Gözleme: Turkish “Crêpes”

Last Updated on December 29, 2022

Gözleme: Turkey’s Trademark Skillet Pastry

As a 12 year old living in Izmir, Turkey, each Wednesday morning I woke up with a fresh anticipation for what the day would hold. Not only did Wednesday mean exploring the Bostanlı Pazar, but it also meant that within that pazar (bazaar) I would get to eat my favorite lunch of the week: freshly cooked spinach and cheese gözleme. This centuries-old stuffed yufka (similar to filo) pastry called gözleme is deservedly a favorite dish of mine, and will surely make your list as well. 

Upon returning to my “gözlemeci” 7 years later, I was immediately greeted with a smile and asked if I wanted my usual. Of course I said yes. 

Regardless of which province in Turkey you visit, one thing is sure: there will be gözleme! So, what exactly is gözleme? We’re very, very glad you asked. Originally a village dish, this folded pastry can be filled with just about anything. The pastry is made of thin lavaş or yufka dough, which is folded over toppings and baked on a griddle. It makes for a great snack or light meal. It is best enjoyed with a side salad and ayran, a traditional Turkish yogurt drink. 

Watching the process by which gözleme is made is mesmerizing. The dough is seamlessly rolled thinner than paper, and toppings are spread between the layers of dough. It is then placed on a large, circular skillet. There are many different types of gözleme, here’s a list of the most common gözleme fillings and their translation.

ıspanaklı = with spinach

peynirli ıspanaklı = with sheep’s cheese and spinach

karışık = “mixed”with meat and vegetables 

kaşar peynirli = with cow’s milk cheese

peynirli = with white sheep’s milk cheese (feta)

patatesli = with mashed potatoes

kıymalı = with ground meat

katmer = plain with tahini

şekerli katmer = sugar and tahini


--by Abigail Goosen

Turkey Food Tour
Turkey Food Tour

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