May 19, 2023

There are certain foods, baklava springs to mind, that several countries claim as their own. Armenia, Greece, Turkey, Serbia, Syria, they all have variations of the syrup-ey, phyllo-ey dessert. As a child, I ate baklava the way American kids eat jello or Venezuelans eat Papitas de leche. We had as slice with every meal, three, four bites was always enough. And until recently, I’d never eaten Baklava as good as the baklava I eat in Greece. In April, my Bosnian friend, Ksenija hosted a beautiful fundraiser dinner for Turkish families affected by the earthquake and served a baklava made by her parents that was, and will forever be, the best I have tasted. I love that we are connected, among other things, by baklava. I love it when I visit my Turkish friend, Buket and she serves Dolma in her home, the same vine stuffed rice bites I grew up eating. My friend, Diana who’s Armenian, looks at our children, eyes as big as Kalamata olives, and says, “they all come from the same place.” It’s true, we do. And it’s the little things that remind us. A slice of Baklava, a taste so familiar, you could cry with every bite. Dolmades, just like you ate as a child. Eyes so big you could swim in them.


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