There are many things I wish I could take home with me. Many people too.
I’ve bought the cookies and waffles. Spray can cream and croissants in tins. I’ve got a cool bag too. I haven’t used my real camera much – been having a blast with my iPhone and instagram! Shame on me as I have had a wonderful gift of 2 camera lenses from my bestest big sister and friend, Comme un Chef
Strawberries and Rhubarb were supposed to go home with me, but with bags ballooning by the minute and the Rhubarb more green than pink, I abandoned that idea.
But Pomegranates and Fennel take up some room – I’m done. Wishing I could ensure a lifetime supply of Turkish yogurt by taking all of Ozan supermarket with me.
I’m getting me a school lesson on dates. And not the boy-meet-girl sort. No, sir this is of the edible variety. 12 sorts….. from Iran. Turkey and perhaps Morocco. Menjool dates, dates on the vine, sun-ripened dates. An endless list when all I want to know is which one makes the lightest, tastiest sticky toffee pudding?
There’s something about people who occupy prime real estate. Something smart about them. Efficient even, like New Yorkers. They understand space and have figured out how to beautify and make practical their ‘confinement’ as it were.
And Ozan is no different. Or as I like to call it ‘The Turkish shop’.
Each inch of this store is wisely stocked with all I need. And I don’t need toilet paper.
I need soft, chewy and tasty turkish bread. Which I love to tear and stuff with cumin cheese and apple slices.
One aisle is all about vinegars, that sour flavour craved in various world cuisines. Pomegranate molasses and vinegars as well as less common grape vinegars sit tall and proud- they’re doing duty.
Nuts, baklava, sugared almonds and macadamias? They line counters and fill shelves.
Then butchers counter has moved to the back where the vegetables used to be. The veggies now sit in the front of the shop. Jars of honey and honeycomb in packs (I got some).
But I go too far into the store and delay the description of the facade, shielded from the rare appearance of the Dutch sun by an awning. Memory fails me but I believe the awning to be of striped character, in green and white. But just green gives no indication of the colour does it? For it could be bottle green or fluorescent or leaf. Our palettes are so rich, full of life….the least I can do is get the green right. This is a dark green. I think. I’ll have to go back to check some other time.
Fruits, Vegetables and the most amazing array of peppers are always to be found, lining the entire length of the front of the shop.
The thing I most love about this shop is its yogurt.
Strangely, its the low-fat version (3.5%) that has me in its grips. Me….who is always and forever full-fat inclined! This is creamy, cool delight and I actually find the 10% fat version too rich. How interesting, I think! There’s hope yet that someday I’ll decline creme fraiche in favour of some other less-fattening alternative. I await it!!!
So its time to say goodbye and once again, I write this sitting in an airport lounge, grateful for a wonderful time, a wonderful place filled with the most amazing stories and treasures and friendships.
Love & peace, XXXX.