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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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