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Tastes and Tables

Turkish-inspired Delights

July-August 2020

Fresh-baked jam turnovers at Sofra

Sofra's fresh-baked raspberry-rose jam turnovers

Photograph courtesy of Sofra


Sofra's fresh-baked raspberry-rose jam turnovers

Photograph courtesy of Sofra

Delectable side dishes and salads at Sofra

Side dishes include: cucumber and dill salad; baked gigante beans; zucchini pancakes; and lamb chunks with spiced hummus and falafel

Photograph courtesy of Sofra


Side dishes include: cucumber and dill salad; baked gigante beans; zucchini pancakes; and lamb chunks with spiced hummus and falafel

Photograph courtesy of Sofra

At Sofra Bakery & Café in Cambridge, the phone starts ringing for take-out orders at 2 p.m. By 2:45, when we’re contemplating dinner and craving the rye-flour galette with a mélange of zucchini, goat cheese, and black garlic ($14)—it’s already sold out. The dark-toffee flavor of that aged garlic (common in Asian cuisines) is irresistible. We take one of the last sausage pitas ($11) instead. Back home, eating on the patio, that spicy ground pork—mixed with pickled peppers, feta cheese, and a hint of orange flavor in a crunchy pastry wrap—becomes a new favorite. Other must-haves: the meze platter ($12): dollops of creamy beet tzatziki, hummus, whipped feta dip, and a romanesco salad; and the cauliflower fatteh ($14), a slow-cooked dish with caramelized onions, pine nuts, and yogurt, sprinkled with sumac. The corner café’s been feeding sheltering crowds via brown-bagged goodies handed across a plexiglass-protected doorway, and this summer could resume limited service at its outdoor tables. Wherever you enjoy this nuanced, Turkish cuisine-inspired fare, don’t forget dessert ($4-$8): soft, double-chocolate “Earthquakes,” oatmeal cream pies, and sesame-caramel cashew bites. And on weekends definitely call way ahead for the hot and tender raspberry-rose-flavored turnovers and tahini-tinged, brown-butter donuts.

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Click on arrow at right to view additional images 

(1 of 4)

Square bustling, again, with visitors

Photograph by Jim Harrsion

Harvard Square, Redux

Sisters Vanessa and Casey White in the kitchen of their company, Jaju Pierogi

Honoring their Polish heritage, sisters Vanessa and Casey White launched Jaju Pierogi in 2016.

Photograph courtesy of Jaju Pierogi

Jaju’s Premiere Pierogies

A photograph of Piattini’s sunken patio in Boston

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Photograph courtesy of Piattini

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